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| ‘The 


Published by The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 
since 1884 


General Meetings 
Held on the second Monday of the month (except for public holidays), 8.00 p.m. 
at the National Herbarium, corner of Birdwood Avenue and Dallas Brooks Drive, South 
Yarra. Meetings include a talk by a guest speaker. All members of the public are welcome. 

Monday 12th February Monday 9th April 
“The new V.C.E. Geology course for “The work of the marine research 
years 11-12”. Speaker Mr Darold Clind- group of the National Museum”. 
worth. Speaker Mr Clarrie Handreck. 

Monday 19th March 
“Beetles”. Speaker Mr Peter Kelly. 

FNCV Excursions 
Held on the First Sunday of each month and open to all FNCV members and visitors. 
For bookings or further details contact the excursion secretary Mrs. Joan Harry 
(850 1347). 

Sunday 4th February Naturalists Club. For further details see 
Excursion to the Belgrave and Sher- inside back cover of November/ 
brooke area. Meet at the Belgrave December Victorian Naturalist or 
station car park at 10.15 a.m. Train phone the Excursion Secretary. 

leaves station at 8.43 a.m. Leader 

i Sunday Ist April 
Hillary Weatherhead. 

General Excursion by bus to the 

Friday 9th (evening) - 12th March Tallarook area. Bus departs Batman 
Annual Victorian Field Naturalists Avenue 9.30 a.m. Leader Mr Peter 
Labour Day get-together at Ocean Kelly. 

Grove. Hosted by the Geelong Field 

Group Activities 

Fauna Survey Group 
The group contact is Julian Grusovin (Phone 543 8627 A.R.). 

8 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month, National Herbarium. 
March 6th 
Annual General Meeting. 
Sat. 10th - Sun. 11th February Sat. 3rd - Sun. 4th March 
Water rats at Werribee. Bettong survey, Barmah Forest. 
Saturday 17th February Sat. 10th - Mon. 12th March 
Stag watch for Leadbeater’s Possum, Nooramunga. 

Powelltown 7.00 p.m. 
(cont. inside back cover) 

Registered by Australia Post, Publication No. V.B.P. 1268 



Volume 107 (1) 

February, 1990 

Editors: Tim Offor and Robyn Watson. 

MCGHOTIAL/ NOTICES. cs sag cc ccyacsennnnctrgnqoneryavcastenbnsbso ccarpsntns Ans bens tht rhs sb en behea sh dats és 

Commentary Threats to Victorian native freshwater fish 

by J. D. Koehn and W. G. O°CONNOS........0.eccereeeee teen eect e teens 

Contributions A review of the conservation status of native freshwater fish in 

Victoria by J. D. Koehn and A. K. EVIOTISONi: eR aca et 

A new locality for the Two-spined Blackfish (Gadopsis bispinosus) 

outside Victoria by M. Lintermans and T. Rutzou 

A species list for the Merri Creek area (Melbourne, Victoria) 

compiled in 1896 by I. Clarke ........:.::ceeeeeeeeneenenee ete eeeeeeeeeeeeeees 


ISSN 0042-5184 


Cover photo: Trees and wood debris in steams provide important fish habitat 

(see Koehn and O’Connor p.5) 

Photo J. Koehn. 


From the Editors 

To mark the start of a new decade we 
have redesigned the front cover in a style 
similar to that used during Norman Wake- 
field’s time as editor. We feel that this more 
traditional design reflects the long history 
of The Victorian Naturalist which is now 
in its 107th year, a fact of which the FNCV 
is proud. 

During 1989 we have endeavoured to 
broaden the content of the Vic. Nat. so 
that readers have a blend of informative 
articles on topical issues, research reports 
of scientific significance and naturalist 
news. We have established an editorial 
policy and new guidelines for contributors 
(see page 38) to encourage contributions 
from a wide range of readers. Letters also 
are always welcome. 

This issue contains three articles on 



Wildflowers of the 
Stirling Range 

Bruce Fuhrer 
Neville Marchant 

Special offer to members 
$7.00 plus $1.75 pack./post. 

Order from: 

Sheila Houghton, 

C/- National Herbarium, 
Birdwood Avenue, 

South Yarra 3141. 

native freshwater fish and together they 
encapsulate the Vic. Nat. approach to 
presenting natural history. The article by 
Koehn and O’Connor (p.5) provides an 
overview of the adverse effects of inap- 
propriate stream management on fish. 
Koehn and Morison (p.13) review the 
current conservation status of our native 
freshwater fish and Lintermans and 
Rutzou (p.26) describe a new locality for 
the uncommon Two-spined Blackfish. 

With the current interest in revegetation, 
Ian Clarke’s article (p.28) on an early 
species list for the Merri Creek, Melbourne 
is timely. This list was orginally compiled 
by the eminent naturalist, the Reverend H. 
M. R. Rupp in 1896. 

We hope you enjoy this issue of the Vic. 


Alpine Park 
Management Plans 

The following Proposed Man- 
agement Plans are now avail- 
able from CF&L offices and the 
Information Victoria Centre. 
Submissions due by 31st March. 

e Wonnangatta-Moroka 
e Dartmouth 
© Cobberas-Tingaringy 

Victorian Nat. 


Threats to Victorian native freshwater fish 
J. D. Koehn! and W. G. O’Connor? 

During the process of assessing the 
conservation status of native freshwater 
fish species in Victoria (Koehn and Mori- 
son 1990) it became apparent that there 
were serious declines in the range and 
abundance of many species. While such 
declines are well documented for some 
species (e.g. Macquarie Perch Macquaria 
australasica; Cadwallader 1981), the status 
of others remains relatively unknown (e.g. 
Yarra Pigmy Perch, Edelia obscura). 

The exact reasons for such declines may 
vary between species, from location to 
location, be unknown or be a combination 
of factors, but there has been one com- 
mon, overwhelming cause: habitat altera- 
tion. Changes to habitat have accelerated 
since the arrival of Europeans to Australia 
and have often continued almost unnotic- 
ed. Dr Peter Maitland whilst addressing 
the Australian Threatened Fishes Confer- 
ence as a visiting representative of the 
International Union for the Conservation 
of Nature, put it succinctly: ‘The major 
single cause throughout the world of the 
extinction of populations of fish (and 
indeed most other species of both plants 
and animals) is the destruction of habitat’ 
(Maitland 1987). 

A fish’s habitat consists of both its 
surrounding medium, the water and assoc- 
iated physical structures. These physical 
structures include streambanks, substrate, 
instream debris (logs, branches, etc), 
aquatic and streambank vegetation, all of 
which may be used for shelter, food supply, 
spawning and rearing areas and territories. 
These provide the diversity of habitat 
necessary to provide the needs for the 
range of fish species present. Often fish 
numbers can be correlated to the suitability 
of the habitat. From a managerial and 
aesthetic viewpoint, this diversity often 

‘118 Waterdale Road, Ivanhoe, 3079 
253 Davis Street, North Carlton, 3052 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

constitutes what appears to be an untidy, 
cluttered and inefficient arrangement of 
instream structures. 

A stream is completely dependent on the 
surrounding land and vegetation in its 
catchment and is consequently subjected 
to the effects of actions carried out there. 
The areas surrounding a stream and its 
tributaries are especially important in 
determining the quality of the stream, A 
stream is also a system of habitats linked 
together by a continuous one-way flow of 
water, so the actions on a stream at one 
point can also affect areas downstream. 

The majority of native freshwater fishes 
occur in rivers and streams which form 
most of the freshwater aquatic habitats in 
Victoria. Few species are completely 
dependent on lentic (non-flowing) habitats 
such as lakes, swamps, billabongs and wet- 
lands. Although this paper primarily con- 
cerns itself with lotic (flowing) ecosystems 
it is recognised that lentic habitats face a 
wide variety of threats and that habitat 
changes such as drainage can be rapid and 

Unlike terrestrial ecosystems, fish and 
their environments are hidden below the 
water surface and hence the degradation 
of their habitats and other threats they face 
often pass unnoticed. In a recent poll, the 
majority of public considered a lack of 
stocking, pollution and Carp to be the 
most important issues facing freshwater 
fisheries (Fisheries Division 1987). Such 
responses fail to consider the most serious 
threats to freshwater environments. Eco- 
logical factors are not generally widely 
recognised by the public as major concerns 
to freshwater fisheries. 

In an attempt to redress this imbalance, 
this paper presents a review of the major 
threats to native freshwater fish in Vic- 


Bankside Vegetation Removal 

Naturally occurring native vegetation 
surrounding a stream is essential for the 
well-being of the aquatic ecosystem, and 
there is a continuous interaction between 
this zone and the stream, Most of the in- 
stream habitat available for fish eg. fallen 
trees, logs, wood debris, leaves, bark, tree 
roots, ete. originates from the surrounding 
bankside vegetation. In many streams, 
such organic matter forms the major pri- 
mary source Of nutrients for the aquatic 
food chain. The supply of this material 
rom streamside vegetation replaces energy 
used in biological processes and lost by 
downstream displacement. Introduced 
deciduous species such as willows or 
poplars alter the timing, quality and 
consistency of this energy supply. Addi- 
tional fish food in the form of terrestrial 
invertebrates also originates from_ this 

By helping consolidate stream banks, 
the rool systems of bank vegetation 
prevent erosion and hence sedimentation 

(P. Jackson pers, comm.). Submerged 
roots also provide instream habitat. 
Streamside vegetation acts as a buffer strip 
helping to filter sediment, pasture effluent 
and chemicals in water run-off from sur- 
rounding areas and is important in protect- 
ing bank areas from disturbances such as 
stock damage (Anon 1983). Shading helps 
to reduce summer stream temperatures 
and provides habitat areas for species 
avoiding sunlight. 

The clearing of bank vegetation has 
been widespread in Victoria, and is par- 
ticularly prevalent in lowland streams 
flowing through agricultural areas. The 
impact of this action, especially clearing 
right up to the waters edge, on stream eco- 
systems has not been fully realised. The 
loss of a nutrient source (organic matter) 
alone may have reduced the overall pro- 
ductivity of streams. Certainly the loss of 
inputs of instream habitat can lead to a 
reduction in fish numbers, especially of 
those species dependent on logs and wood 
debris for habitat or spawning sites. 

Fig. 1. Removal of streamside vegetation remains a major environmental problem. 

Victorian Nat. 


Habitat Removal 

The removal of instream habitat by de- 
snagging and clearing of streams remains 
a widespread practice in Victoria. Fish use 
snags and other habitat to shelter from 
water velocity, predators, competitors and 
sunlight; as territorial ‘markers’, for 
spawning sites and for food supply sour- 
ces. Species such as Murray Cod (Maccul- 
lochella peeli) and Freshwater Blackfish 
(Gadopsis marmoratus) are known to lay 
adhesive eggs on or in logs and the removal 
of such spawning sites is likely to lead to 
reduced breeding success. Both of these 
species have suffered serious declines in 
range and abundance (Jackson and Lle- 
welyn 1980; Cadwallader and Gooley 1981) 
and the removal of snags is probably a 
contributing factor (Cadwallader 1978). 

Channelization can remove almost all 
instream habitat. The Western Port catch- 
ment provides many examples of this 
extreme form of habitat alteration and fish 
populations have been shown to be adver- 
sely affected (Hortle and Lake 1983; 
Koehn 1986a). The concrete channels in 
Dandenong Creek have been shown to 
contain few (or no) fish (Koehn 1986b). 
Similarly, the widespread drainage of 
swamp and wetland areas has reduced the 

Fig. 2. Channelization removes almost all 
habitat attributes. 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

preferred habitat areas for species such as 
the Southern Pigmy Perch (Nannoperca 
australis) and Dwarf Galaxias (Galaxiella 
pusilla). Control of flooding can also lead 
to reductions in off-stream habitats such 
as swamps and billabongs. 


Point sources of sediment such as dam 
and road constructions, mining opera- 
tions, unmade roads and cattle access 
points are all readily recognised. More 
widespread, but less recognisable inputs 
arise from agricultural and forest areas 
where over clearing and poor land man- 
agement practices have occurred. 

The removal of bankside vegetation 
contributes to sedimentation by increasing 
bank erosion and allowing runoff from 
surrounding areas to enter the stream 

While the damage to a hillside gully or 
streambank is visual evidence of the 
problems of erosion, the damage to the 
aquatic environment usually remains 
hidden under the resultant turbid water. 
The major effect of sedimentation is the 
blanketting of the substrate and the filling 
of pools and scour holes. This decreases 
substrate variation and hence usable habi- 
tat areas, A diversity of habitat is necessary 
for the requirements of different species 
and their different life stages. Clogging of 
the substratum removes spaces between 
particles which are used as rearing and 
habitat areas by juvenile fish, small species 
and stream invertebrates. The eggs of 
species such as Macquarie Perch (Mac- 
quaria australasica) which are deposited 
in gravel substrate are liable to smothering 
by sediment. Species such as Freshwater 
Blackfish which lay adhesive eggs, require 
relatively clean sites for attachment. If 
such sites are coyered with sediment, 
spawning may not be possible. The eggs 
and larvae which remain attached to the 
spawning site for several weeks may also 
be smothered by sediment (Blyth and 
Jackson 1985). 


Reduced Water Quality 

Although water quality problems are 
usually associated with the input of toxic 
pollutants, they can also include the de- 
terioration of a wide variety of water 
quality parameters. 

Fish kills from toxie discharges are 
readily recognised and occur frequently in 
urban waters. Similar kills in rural areas 
can often be attributed to the use of 
pesticides. Toxic pollutants which do not 
kill fish immediately, may have sub-lethal 
effects leading to reduced feeding or 
spawning ability, poisoning through bio- 
accumulation in the food chain, or the loss 
of the invertebrate food supply. Some 
toxins such as heavy metals accumulate in 
the tissues leading to a gradual deteriora- 
tion of the health of a fish. Unlike birds 
or terrestrial animals, fish have no means 
of escape from the contamination of their 
environment. Lesser changes in levels of 
other chemicals may have more subtle 
effects on fish populations by providing 
a less suitable environment. 

Water provides dissolved oxygen for 
respiration, temperature for metabolism 
and flow of nutrients through the eco- 
system. Dams and reservoirs in particular 
have the capacity to seriously alter all of 
these parameters. It is common for the 
bottom layers of reservoirs to form cold 
layers completely lacking in oxygen. This 
not only produces habitat areas within the 
impoundments which are unsuitable for 
fish, but can also result in the release of 
de-oxygenated water into the stream. 

Impoundments are also a major cause 
of changes to the water temperature in 
streams. Most impoundments in Victoria 
utilize only bottom outlets which release 
cold water from the lower levels of the 
water column. A reduction in stream tem- 
perature may severely limit the growth rates 
of fish. Often releases are made for irri- 
gation purposes during summer when 
stream temperatures are normally high. 
This is when many species such as Murray 
Cod breed, and if optimal temperatures 

are not reached, then sexual development 
and successful spawning may not occur. 
The feeding activity and metabolic rate of 
fish also depend on water temperature. 

Each species has a specific temperature 
tolerance level and fish kills may occur due 
to high temperatures, particularly when 
associated with reductions in dissolved 
oxygen levels. Water temperatures can 
increase markedly in summer months, par- 
ticularly where there is a lack of shading 
from streamside vegetation. 

Impoundments may also act as nutrient 
traps by allowing organic particles which 
normally flow down the stream to settle 
out. The water released downstream is 
therefore not as rich in nutrients as the 
inflow and so the productivity of the 
stream may be reduced. 

High turbidities and salinities may also 
have adverse physiological or behavioural 
effects on fish. Stratification of pools due 
to temperature or salinity gradients may 
result in deoxygenated, saline bottom 
layers (Anderson and Morison 1990). 
These conditions may be exacerbated by 
reduced flows. Increased nutrient inputs 
from effluents or fertilizers may be directly 
toxic or have indirect adverse effects 
reducing oxygen levels or enhancing algal 
blooms. Algae may be toxic or dramatic- 
ally reduce oxygen levels (Larkin and 
Northcote 1969). 

A deterioration of water quality over the 
long term may be as serious as a direct 
toxic kill. Reduced environmental suit- 
ability increases stress, leaving fish more 
susceptible to disease, predation and 
lowered reproductive success. 

Flow alterations 

Water storages have the capacity to dra- 
matically alter the flow regime. Discharges 
from storages used for irrigation purposes 
generally reverse natural flows, resulting 
in high flows during summer and low 
flows during winter. Natural fluctuations 
in water levels and seasonal flooding are 

Stages of the lifecycles of many fish 
species are reliant on natural flow events 

Victorian Nat. 


and alterations to, or the removal of such 
events may have serious consequences. 
Flooding is particularly important for the 
migration and spawning of many species. 
For example, the adults of Australian Bass 
(Macquaria novemaculeata) require sea- 
sonal high flows to migrate downstream 
to estuarine spawning grounds (Harris, 
1986). A rise in water level during spring 
is thought to be a ‘trigger’ for spawning 
in such species as Silver Perch (Bidvanus 
bidyanus) (Lake 1967). If such conditions 
do not occur, or occur to a lesser extent 
due to flow regulation, then spawning may 
not take place. 

Reduced flooding also means that high- 
ly productive floodplain areas which pro- 
duce plankton blooms are not utilized. 
The production of such an abundant food 
supply is necessary for the rearing of fry 
and the flood-plain habitat provides nur- 
sery areas for the juveniles of many species 
(Geddes and Puckeridge 1988). Reduced 
flooding also reduces the chance to flush 
sediment and areas of poor water quality 
which may occur over long periods of low 

Sudden reductions in water levels, par- 
ticularly such as those associated with the 
end of irrigation releases or the operation 
of hydro-electric schemes may leave fish 
and/or their eggs stranded above the water 
level. Certain species such as the Fresh- 
water Blackfish whose eggs and larvae 
need to remain attached to the spawning, 
site for several weeks may be particularly 
susceptible to a sudden drop in water level. 

Water storages often result in a dramatic 
reduction in downstream flow, This can 
severely reduce the amount of habitat 
available to fish. Flow immediately below 
the Upper Yarra Dam for example, has 
been completely stopped, leaving the 
streambed almost dry for several kilo- 
meters before being fed at reduced flows 
by downstream tributaries. Streamflow 
studies have been conducted by the Fish- 
eries Division (Department of Conserva- 
tion, Forests and Lands) on waters such 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

as the Thomson River to determine suit- 
able flows to maintain adequate amounts 
of fish habitat (B. Tunbridge pers. comm,). 

Reductions in streamflow also oecur due 
to the damming of small tributaries and 
water extracuion for irrigation purposes. 
The effects of water extraction can be 
severe as this practice is most prevalent 
during low summer flows. 


To be of use to fish, habitat areas must 
be accessible. As the majority of fresh- 
water species in coastal drainages move to 
sea at some stage of their life cycle they 
need to be able to recolonize these fresh- 
water habitat areas. Barriers prevent this, 
and indeed some species have been found 
absent from drainages where barriers 
occur (Koehn 1986a). Water storages also 
form major barriers to fish passage in 
Victorian streams. lish passage may also 
be obstructed by flood barriers, drop 
structures, causeways and road crossings. 

Many species also need to migrate to 
spawn. Golden Perch (Macquaria ambi- 
gua) may make extensive upstream migra- 
tions prior to spawning, whilst the Com- 
mon Galaxias (Galaxias maculatus) 
migrates downstream to spawn in the 
estuary. If migrations to spawning areas 
are obstructed, then spawning may not be 
possible. Several coastal species such as the 
Broad-finned Galaxias (Galaxias brevi- 

Fig. 3, Water storages cause barriers to fish 
passage and other environmental prob- 


pinnis) spawn in freshwater, but their eggs 
or larvae are swept to sea. If the larvae are 
swept into a water storage their survival 
is uncertain. 

At present few barriers incorporate any 
type of ‘fish ladder’ and so fish passage 
remains a major environmental problem 
for many species in Victoria. 

Introduced Species 

The most widely distributed introduced 
species is Brown Trout (Sa/mo trutta) 
(Cadwallader and Backhouse 1983). 
Together with Rainbow Trout (Oncorhy- 
nchus mykiss), these species are widely 
stocked (Barnham 1989) and as voracious 
predators pose a major threat to smaller 
native fish. The effects of Brown Trout on 
the distribution and abundance of Moun- 
tain Galaxias (Galaxias olidus) have been 
comprehensively documented with mu- 
tually exclusive populations often occur- 
ring (Tilzey 1976; Cadwallader 1979; 
Fletcher 1979; Jackson and Davies 1983). 
Overlap in the diet of Brown Trout and 
Freshwater Blackfish and the deleterious 
effects on the distribution of other native 
species has been found by Jackson (1978) 
and Jackson and Williams (1980). Despite 
the overlap in diet, blackfish coexist in 
streams with Brown Trout, probably be- 
cause the two species occupy different 
habitat areas (Jackson 1978). Trout have 
been noted as a particular threat to the 
endangered Brown Galaxias (G, olidus var. 
‘fuscus’), (Koehn and Morison 1990) and 
may also prey on Australian Grayling (Pro- 
totroctes maraena). Mosquitofish (Gam- 
busia affinis) are known to eat fish eggs, 
juveniles, and aggressively attack fish by 
nipping their fins. It is thought to have 
been responsible for the extinction of 
several fish species in Africa and South- 
east Asia (Cadwallader and Backhouse 
1983), but its effect in Australia has not 
been documented. Mosquitofish may be 
detrimental to species which inhabit 
similar habitats such as the Dwarf Gal- 
axias and Southern and Yarra Pigmy 


Competition for both food and habitat 
space also occurs between other native and 
introduced species. The diets of Murray 
Cod and Golden Perch for example over- 
lap with Redfin (Perca fluviatilis) Carp 
(Cyprinis carpio) Roach (Rutilus rutilus) 
and Goldfish (Carassius auratus). 

The effects of Carp numbers on native 
fish is unclear. Dietary overlap between 
Carp and native species does occur (Hume 
et al. 1983), and in large numbers Carp 
must produce considerable pressure for 
habitat space. The destruction of weed- 
beds in lakes may also remove native fish 
habitat. Redfin may pose a special threat 
to native fish species through the spread 
of Redfin virus (Langdon ef a/ 1986). 
Preliminary tests have shown that Moun- 
tain Galaxias and Macquarie Perch are 
both susceptible to this virus (Langdon 

Several exotic species used in the 
aquarium trade are known to have es- 
tablished populations in Victoria (Cad- 
wallader and Backhouse 1983; Allen 


The removal of fish from a stream can 
obviously only decrease the abundance of 
that species. Overfishing of native fish 
stocks by commercial fishermen and 
poachers in the Murray-Darling river 
systems has probably contributed to their 
decline in many areas. Angling during the 
spawning migration has been suggested as 
having a deleterious effect on Macquarie 
Perch stocks in Lake Eildon (Cadwallader 
1978) and for this reason, the population 
of this species in Lake Dartmouth is sub- 
jected to a closed season during spawning. 
Angling is often suggested as a reason for 
the decline of other species, but this re- 
mains unsubstantiated, 

As only 9 of the 42 native freshwater fish 
species may be considered of angling 
importance (Barnham 1983), fishing can- 
not explain the serious declines suffered 
by populations of other species. Compar- 
ed to the deleterious effect of habitat 

Victorian Nat. 


modifications previously discussed in this 
paper, with the exception of occasional 
specific instances, angling should not be 
considered a threat to most native fresh- 
water fish species. 


General deterioration of a fish’s envir- 
onmental conditions does not usually 
cause death, but is likely to have other 
effects which lead to a general decline in 
population. A less than optimal habitat 
may lead to reduced longevity, growth rates 
and spawning success. Over several years 
this accumulative decline may lead to the 
demise of a fish population. 

The threats discussed have been con- 
sidered in isolation, but often more than 
one threatening process is in operation and 
interactions between such processes may 
increase their effects. Similarly, the effect 
of one threatening process may affect 
many areas of the ecosystem and several 
fish species e.g. sedimentation may remove 
spawning sites and reduce food supply. 

Although an overall ecological ap- 
proach is required for the effective 
management of these problems, steps can 
be taken to alleviate most of the afore- 
mentioned threats: 

1. Replacement and maintenance of 
indigenous, native streamside vegeta- 
tion zones at least 20 m in width (Clin- 
nick 1984). 

2. Minimization of habitat removal. 

3. Adequate controls of sediment inputs 
from point sources and a general im- 
provement in catchment land use. 

4. Adequate controls over toxic spills, 
effluent discharges, chemical spraying 
and the provision of multi-level outlets 
from water storages. 

5. Use of streamflow studies to determine 
and implement environmentally sensi- 
tive flow regimes; regulation of water 

6. Provision of fish ladders and removal 
or modification of structures to provide 
fish passage. 

7. Careful stocking and restrictions on the 
spread of introduced species. 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

8. Regulation of commercial and recrea- 
tional fishing in sensitive areas. 
Some of these actions are already in 

operation, but concerted efforts are 
needed to implement widespread manage- 
ment decisions in these areas before these 
threats to our native freshwater fish are 


The authors wish to thank all those 
compatriots whose conversations have led 
to a better understanding of the environ- 
mental threats to freshwater fishes. Thanks 
to Tim Doeg for comments on the manu- 
script and to David Anderson for word- 


Allen, S, (1984). Occurrence of juvenile Weatherfish 
Misgurnus anguillicaudatus (Pisces: Cobitidae) 
in the Yarra River. Victorian Nat. 101: 240-2. 

Anderson, J. R. and Morison, A. K. (1989). 
Environmental flow studies for the Wimmera 
River, Victoria, Summary report. Arthur Rylah 
Institute for Environmetal Research Technical 
Report Series No. 78. 

Anon. (1983). ‘The State of the Rivers’, (Government 
Printer: Melbourne). 

Barnham, C. (1983), Report on the census of angling 
clubs 1983. Fisheries and Wildlife Division, Min- 
istry for Conservation, Melbourne, Victoria, 

Barnham, C. (1989), Summary of immediately avail- 
able records of non-indigenous and indigenous 
fish stockings in Victorian public waters 1871 to 
1988. Internal Working Report No.2 (Draft), 
Freshwater Fish Management Branch, Fisheries 
Division, Melbourne. 

Blyth, J. D. and Jackson, P. D. (1985). The aquatic 
habitat and fauna of East Gippsland, Victoria. 
Aust. Soc. Limnol. Bull. No. 10: 89-109, 

Cadwallader, P. L. (1978). Some causes of the decline 
in range and abundance of native fish in the 
Murray-Darling River System. Proc. Royal Soc. 
Vict. 90; 211-224 

Cadwallader, P. L. (1979). Distribution of native and 
introduced fish in Seven Creeks River System, 
Victoria. Aust.J. Ecol. 4: 361-385. 

Cadwallader, P. L. (1981). Past and present 
distributions and translocations of Macquarie 
perch Macquaria australasica (Pisces: Perci- 
chthyidae), with particular reference to Victoria. 
Proc, Royal Soc. Vict. 93: 23-30. 

Cadwallader, P. L. and Backhouse, G. N. (1983). ‘A 
Guide to the Freshwater Fish of Victoria’, (Goy- 
ernment Printer: Melbourne). 



Cadwallader, P. L. and Gooley, G. J. (1984). Past and 
present distributions and translocations of 
Murray cod Maccullochella peeli and trout cod 
M. macquariensis (Pisces: Percichthyidae) in 
Victoria. Proc, Royal Soc. Vict, 96: 33-43. 

Clinnick, P.F. (1984). Buffer strip management in 
forest operations. Soil Conservation Authority 
‘Technical Report Series. 

Fisheries Division. (1987). Morgan poll shows im- 
portance of fishing. Recreational Fisheries 
Newsletter October 1987 1(2); 1-3. (Department 
of Conseryation, Forests and Lands). 

Fletcher, A. R. (1979). Effects of Salmo trutta on 
Galaxias olidus and macroinvertebrates in stream 
communities. M.Sc. thesis, Department of Zoo- 
logy, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria. 

Geddes, M. C. and Puckeridge, J. T. (1988). Survival 
and growth of larval and juvenile native fish: the 
importance of the flood plain, Jn ‘Proceedings 
of the workshop on native fish management’. 
(Murray Darling Basin Committee). 

Harris, J. H. (1986). Reproduction of the Australian 
Bass, Macquaria novemaculeata (Perciformes 
Percichthyidae) in the Sydney Basin. Aust. J. Mar. 
Freshwater. Res, 37: 209-235. 

Hortle, K. G. and Lake, P. S, (1983). Fish of the 
channelized and unchannelized sections of the 
Bunyip River, Victoria. Aust, J. Mar. Freshwater. 
Res, 34: 441-450. 

Hume, D. J., Fletcher, A. R. and Morison, A. K. 
(1983). Final report: Carp program. Arthur Rylah 
Institute for Environmental Research, Ministry 
for Conservation. 213pp. 

Jackson, P. D. (1978). Benthic invertebrate fauna and 
feeding relationships of brown trout, Salmo trutta 
Linnaeus, and river blackfish, Gadopsis mar- 
moratus Richardson, in the Aberfeldy River, 
Victoria. Aust, J. Mar, Freshwater Res. 29: 

Jackson, P. D. and Davies, J. N. (1983), Survey of the 
fish fauna in the Grampians region, south-west- 

ern Victoria, Proceedings of the Royal Society of 

Victoria 95: 39-51. 

Jackson, P. D. and Llewellyn, L. C. (1980). Family 
Gadopsidae: River Blackfish. /n ‘Freshwater 
Fishes of South-Eastern Australia’. Ed. R. M. 
McDowall. (Reed: Sydney) pp. 160. 

Jackson, P. D, and Williams W. D. (1980). Effects of 
brown trout Salmo trutta Linnaeus, on the dis- 
tribution of some native fishes in three areas of 
southern Victoria, Australia, Aust. J. Mar, Fresh- 
water Res. 31: 61-67. 

Koehn, J, D, (1986a). Western Port catchment: fishes, 
their habitats and management recommenda- 
tions. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental 
Research Technical Report Series No. 40. 34pp. 
(Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands: 


Koehn, J. D. (1986b). Dandenong Creek: fishes, their 
habitats and management recommendations, 
Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental 
Research Technical Report Series No, ,41, 
(Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands: 

Koehn, J. D. and Morison, A. K. (1990). A review of 
the conservation status of native freshwater fish 
in Victoria. Victorian Nat. 107: 13-25. 

Lake, J. S, (1967). Rearing experiments with five species 
of Australian freshwater fishes. Aust, J. Mar. 
Freshwater Res. 18; 137-153. 

Langdon, J. S. (1988). Prevention and control of fish 
diseases in the Murray-Darling Basin. Jn: 
‘Proceedings of the Workshop on Native Fish 
Management, Canberra, 16-17 June 1988’ 
(Murray Darling Basin Commission) pp. 163-172. 

Langdon, J. S,, Humphrey, J. D, Williams, L. M., 
Hyatt, A. D. and Westbury, H. A. (1986). First 
virus isolation from Australian fish: an. iri- 
dovirus-like pathogen from redfin perch, Perca 
Siuviatilis L. J. Fish Diseases 9: 263-268. 

Larkin, P. A. and Northcote, T. G. (1969). Fish as 
indices of eutrophication. Jn ‘Eutrophication: 
Causes, consequences, correctives’. (National 
Academy of Sciences: Washington D.C.). Pp. 

Maitland, P. S. (1987), Conserving freshwater fish in 
Australia. /n: ‘Proceedings of the Conference on 
Australian Threatened Fishes’. Ed J. H, Harris, 
(Australian Society for Fish Biology: Sydney) 

Tilzey, R. D. J. Observations on interactions between 
indigenous Galaxiidae and introduced Salmon- 
idae in the Lake Eucumbene catchment, New 
South Wales. Aust. J. Mar. and Freshwater Res, 
27: 551-564. 

Victorian Nat. 


A review of the conservation status of native freshwater 
fish in Victoria 
J. D. Koehn' and A. K. Morison? 


The conservation status of native 
freshwater fish in Victoria was first 
documented in November 1982 (Cadwall- 
ader et a/. 1984), This was seen as part of 
an Australia-wide review of the conserva- 
tion status of native freshwater fish. In 
August 1985, the Australian Society for 
Fish Biology held a conference on Aus- 
tralian Threatened Fishes to define the 
criteria used for classification of the 
conservation status of Australian fish 
species and to publish a preliminary 
classification of species at risk nationwide 
(Harris 1987). Recommendations formu- 
lated at this conference were ratified by the 
Society and a Threatened Fishes 
Committee formed. This committee now 
meets annually to review the national 

Cadwallader et a/. (1984) recommended 
that the Victorian conservation listing 
should be revised every five years. This 
document contains the first official 

Since the original review in 1982, there 
has been an increase in knowledge of 
freshwater native fish in Victoria. New 
species have been described formally, 
additional species have been located in 
Victoria, many fish surveys have been 
conducted and the relationships between 
some species and their environment have 
been investigated. The conservation status 
of several species has come under revision 
in recent publications (Brumley ef a/. 1987; 
Jackson and Koehn 1988). 

The importance of a listing of the Con- 
servation Status of species in Victoria has 

' Fisheries Division 

Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, 
123 Brown Street, Heidelberg, 3084 

? Fisheries Division 

Kaiela Fisheries Research Station 

P.O. Box 1226, Shepparton, 3630 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

been highlighted by the determination of 
conservation priorities and management 
plans within government departments and 
the initiation of the Flora and Fauna 
Guarantee legislation by the Victorian 
State Government. This legislation allows 
for the listing of flora, fauna and habitat 
areas for protection throughout the State. 

The purpose of the Flora and Fauna 
Guarantee and proceedures for its imple- 
mentation have been outlined by Watson 
and Offor (1989). 

The conservation categories adopted by 
Cadwallader ef a/. were based on Ahern’s 
(1982) modifications of definitions from 
the Red Data Book (Holloway 1979) of the 
International Union for the Conservation 
of Nature (1.U.C.N.). The definitions and 
classification scheme used for the national 
conservation listing (Harris 1987) differed 
somewhat from those used by Cadwall- 
ader et al. (1984). Such changes have 
necessitated a review of the conservation 
status listing of Victorian native freshwater 
fish. The conservation status of each 
species was considered for Victoria only, 
with historical data on distribution and 
abundance elsewhere only relevant to their 
vulnerability in this State. 

The Review 
A meeting was held at the Arthur Rylah 
Institute for Environmental Research on 
12 August 1989 to review the listings. 
Participants included Fisheries biologists, 
fish taxonomists, native fish naturalists 
and personnel with knowledge of the Flora 
and Fauna Guarantee legislation. 
The purpose of the meeting was to: 
a) decide whether or not to adopt the con- 
servation categories used for the nation- 
al listing (Harris 1987), or those used 
by Cadwallader ef al. (1984). 
b) decide the conservation status of each 



species considered by Cadwallader et al. 
(1984), after presentation and consid- 
eration of all available, relevant infor- 

c) decide the conservation status of 
additional species not previously listed. 

d) provide a summary of the revised 
classification of conservation status of 
Victorian native freshwater fish to the 
meeting of the Australian Society of 
Fish Biology Threatened Fishes Com- 
mittee meeting on 25 August 1989, 


The participants agreed that the cate- 
gories used for the national conservation 
listing (Harris 1987) should also be 
adopted for this review of the Victorian 
listing. Two slight alterations were made 
to this classification scheme: the ‘extinct’ 
category definition was qualified by the 
addition of ‘presumed in Victoria’, and for 
completion, a further category of ‘present- 
ly common and/or widespread in Victoria’ 
was added. This is similar to the category 
‘common and secure’ used by Cadwallader 
et al. (1984). This additional category 
provided a complete listing of all native 
freshwater fish taxa considered and ensures 
revision of their status in following reviews. 

Conservation Status Category Definitions 

Taxa which are no longer found in the 
wild or ina domesticated state in Victoria. 


Taxa which have suffered a population 
decline over all or most of their range, 
whether the causes of this decline are 
known or not, and which are in danger of 
extinction in the near future. (Special 
management measures required if the taxa 
are to continue to survive.) 


Taxa not presently endangered but 
which are at risk by having small popu- 
lations and/or by occupying restricted 
habitats susceptible to rapid environmental 


change and/or populations which are de- 
clining at a rate that would render them 
endangered in the near future. (Special 
management measures required to prevent 
the taxa becoming endangered or extinct.) 


Taxa which could become vulnerable or 
endangered in the near future because they 
have a relatively large population in a 
restricted area; or they have small popu- 
lations in a few areas; or they have been 
heavily depleted and are continuing to 
decline; or they are dependent on specific 
habitat for survival. (Require monitoring.) 


Taxa which are likely to fall into the 
Endangered, Vulnerable or Potentially 
Threatened categories but for which in- 
sufficient data are available to make an 
assessment. (Require investigation.) 


Taxa which are not presently in danger 
but which occur in restricted areas, or 
which have suffered a long-term reduction 
in distribution and/or abundance and are 
now uncommon. 


Taxa whose taxonomy, distribution and 
abundance are not known but which are 
suspected of being restricted, 


Taxa presently common, abundant or 
widespread which face no immediate 
threat to their survival. 

‘Endangered’, ‘Vulnerable’ and ‘Potent- 
ially Threatened’ are categories that are 
considered to contain Victoria’s threatened 
fish. Harris (1987) recommended that 
action be taken to initiate conservation 
programs for species which fall into these 
categories on a national basis. Similar 
action is recommended for Victorian 
species in these listings. Further taxa may 
be placed in these categories after investi- 
gation of those whose status is presently 
listed as ‘Indeterminate’. 

Victorian Nat. 


Using the revised classification each 
species was assigned to a particular con- 
servation category after the presentation 
and discussion of its distribution, abun- 
dance and environmental requirements 
(including habitat, breeding, feeding, 
movement and water quality needs). Par- 

ticular attention was given to observed 
changes to distribution and abundance, 
and to potential threats to that species. The 
status of each species, on the basis of the 

categories, is given in Table 1. 
The Fisheries Division has a breeding 
and re-stocking program underway for 

Table 1: Conservation status of native freshwater fish species in Victoria. 

(Nomenclature follows Cadwallader and Backhouse 1983). 




Presumed Extinct in Victoria 
Mogurnda adspersa Southern Purple-spotted 

Ambassis agassizi Agassizis Perch* 

Nannoperca variegata 
Galaxias olidus vat. 
Potamalosa richmondia 

Ewens Pigmy Perch 
Brown Galaxias 

Trout Cod 
Freshwater Herring 

Macquaria ausiralasica 
Galaxias cleaveri 

Macquarie Perch 
Tasmanian Mudfish 

Prototroctes maraena __ Australian Grayling 
Bidyanus bidyanus Silver Perch 
Maccullochella peeli Murray Cod 

Tandanus tandanus Freshwater Catfish 

Potentially Threatened 
Edelia obscura 
Geotria australis 

Yarra Pigmy Perch 
Pouched Lamprey 

novemaculeata Australian Bass 
Galaxiella pusilla Dwarf Galaxias 

Broad-finned Galaxias 
Spotted Galaxias 
Golden Perch 

Galaxias brevipinnis 
Galaxias truttaceus 
Macquaria ambigua 


Gadopsis marmoratus _ Freshwater Blackfish 

Galaxias rostratus Flat-headed Galaxias 
Galaxias olidus Mountain Galaxias 
Gobiomorphus coxii Cox’s Gudgeon 

Indeterminate (cont.) 
Gobiomorphus australis 
Craterocephalus eyresti 


Gadopsis bispinosus 
Nematalosa erebi 
Melanotaenia fluviatilis 

Uncertain Status 
Hypseleotris klunzingeri 
Hypseleotris spp. 
Philypnodon sp. 

Mordacia praecox 

Striped Gudgeon 

Freshwater Hardyhead 
Lake Eyre Hardyhead 

Two-spined Blackfish 

Bony Bream 


Western Carp Gudgeon 

Midgley’s/ Lake’s Carp 

Dwarf Flat-headed 

Non-parasitic Lamprey 

Presently Common and/or Widespread 

Anguilla reinhardtii 
Anguilla australis 
Galaxias maculatus 
Pseudogobius olorum 
Arenigobius bifrenatus 
Favonigobius tamarensis 
Philypnodon grandiceps 
Mordacia mordax 
Macquaria colonorum 
Nannoperca australis 
Retropinna semoni 
Pseudaphritis urvillii 

*Zoological Catalogue of Australia Volume 7, p. 484. 

**Hoese et al. 1980. 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

Long-finned Eel 
Short-finned Eel 
Common Galaxias 
Blue-spot Goby 
Bridled Goby 

Tamar River Goby 
Flat-headed Gudgeon 
Short-headed Lamprey 
Estuary Perch 
Southern Pigmy Perch 
Australian Smelt 




several warmwater native fish species. The 
program concentrates on three species of 
conservation concern: Trout Cod, Murray 
Cod and Macquarie Perch. The primary 
purpose of the program for these species 
is to improve their conservation status to 
and establish viable, self-sustaining popu- 
lations. Golden Perch are released into 
many waters specifically to improve recre- 

ational angling but the establishment of 

breeding populations is not an essential 
part of the program. Although this pro- 
gram has been underway for several years, 
the success of stockings is still being eval- 
uated and the establishment of self-sus- 
taining populations has not been verified. 
For this reason, the reviewers decided that 
the re-stocking program should not be 
taken into consideration in assessing the 
conservation status of these species. 

Of the 46 taxa of Victorian native fresh- 
water fish considered, two are now pre- 
sumed extinct in this State and another 17 
are considered to be under threat. 

Four taxa have been placed in the ‘En- 
dangered’ category, which previously 
contained Trout Cod only (Cadwallader 
ef al, 1984), Distribution areas and locality 
records for the two species ‘presumed 
extinct in Victoria’ and the four ‘Endan- 
gered’ species are given in Fig, 1, and these 

species are illustrated in Fig’s 2-7. 

2 \ 2 06 \ ; 
os » °G \ 4 
J \ \ v SF 
3 ) NS \ : mv. 
~ a4 <r 

Fig. 1. Locality records for fish species 
‘presumed extinet’ or ‘endangered’ in Vic- 
toria: (1) Agassizis Perch: (2) Southern 
Purple-spotted Gudgeon: (3) Ewens Pigmy 
Perch: (4) Freshwater Herring: (5) Trout 
Cod: (6) Brown Galaxias, 


A brief summary of the most important 
considerations for the listing of each 
species is given below: 

Southern Purple-spotted Gudgeon (Fig. 
2) Mogurnda adspersa 

Presence in Victoria confirmed by one 
museum specimen from Dinner Creek, 
Stawell, 1934 but the accuracy of this 
locality description is now in some doubt. 
There are no other confirmed records from 
this state. Specimens collected from 
Albury-Wodonga area (Cadwallader and 
Backhouse 1983) have recently been re- 
identified as Philypnodon grandiceps (R. 
Frankenberg pers. comm.). Previously list- 
ed as ‘Restricted distribution, or rare... 

Fig. 2. Southern Purple-spotted Gudgeon 
Mogurnda_ adspersa(Fisheries Division 

Agassizis Perch (Fig. 3) Ambassis agassizi 

Previously named the Western Chanda 
Perch (Zoological Catalogue of Australia 
Vol. 7 p.484). The species’ presence in 
Victoria is confirmed by three museum 
specimens from the Mildura region, 1929. 
There are no other confirmed records from 
this State. Previously listed as ‘Restricted 
distribution, or rare... 

Ewens Pigmy Perch (Fig. 4) Nannoperca 

A newly described species (Kuiter and 
Allen 1986) only found in one stream in 
far south-western Victoria. It is likely to 

Victorian Nat. 


have suffered substantial population 
declines due to drainage of swampy habitat 
areas, creek clearing and channelization 
(as have other Pigmy Perch species), Such 
practices are common in this area and pose 
a continuing threat. Also found in Ewens 
ponds, South Australia. 

Fig. 3. Agassizis Perch Ambassis agassizi 
(Fisheries Division photograph). 

Fig. 4. Ewens Pigmy Perch Nannoperca 
variegata (Photo: Rudi Kuiter). 

Brown Galaxias (Fig. 5) Galaxias olidus 
var. ‘fuscus’ 

‘Fuscus’ is presently described as a 
junior synonym, and is a phenotypically 
distinct form of G. olidus (McDowell and 
Frankenberg 1981). Rich (1986) demon- 
strated genetic, morphological and eco- 
logical distinctness from G. olidus and 
suggested that ‘fuscus’ may qualify as a 
sub-species. Reproductive isolation was 
suggested in a sympatric population of 
these two forms but was not proven. 
‘fuscus’ is now known to occur at only two 
localities in the upper Goulburn River 

Vol. 107 No, 1 (1990) 

system. At one site an apparently stable 
population exists in the absence of trout 
species; at the other, a population cohabit- 
ing with trout appears to be declining. 
‘fuscus’ has disappeared from several other 
localities apparently after the introduction 
of trout. The detrimental effects of trout 
on populations of G. olidus have been well 
documented (Tilzey 1976; Fletcher 1979) 
and trout remain a major threat to the 
future of this taxa. Although trout stock- 
ings do not occur at the localities listed, 
stockings do occur in the catchments con- 
taining ‘fuscus’, (Barnham 1989) and 
threats come from self-maintaining and 
expanding trout populations. Previously 
listed as ‘Restricted distribution or rare... 

Fig. 5. Brown Galaxias Galaxias olidus var. 
‘fuscus’ (Fisheries Division photograph). 

Trout Cod (Fig. 6) Maccullochella 

Previously listed as Endangered, the 
status of this species remains unchanged. 
Cadwallader and Gooley (1984) listed 15 
locations from which Trout Cod have been 
reliably reported since 1970. Since 1984, 
Trout Cod have been recorded from only 
two of these sites: the Murray River 
downstream of Lake Mulwala and Seven 
Creeks. Seven Creeks contains the only 
recently confirmed, viable population of 
this species in Victoria. Most of this pop- 
ulation is located within a section of 
stream closed to angling and its distribu- 
tion there appears relatively stable (Mori- 
son and Anderson 1987). Catchment man- 



agement measures have been implemented 
to help prevent siltation and further 
degradation of instream habitat. 

Fig. 6. Trout Cod Maccullochella mac- 
quariensis (Fisheries Division photo- 

Freshwater Herring (Fig. 7) Potamalosa 

There are confirmed records from only 
two localities in Victoria: Museum of 
Victoria specimens collected from Hop- 
kins River, Warrnambool, 1894 and speci- 
mens collected in 1976 from Little River, 
Mallacoota (McCarraher 1986). These 
sparse records may indicate a reduction in 
the species’ range within Victoria and its 
continued existence in this state may be in 
doubt if such a decline continues. 
Previously listed as ‘Restricted distribution 
or rare..?. 

Fig. 7. Freshwater Herring Potamalosa 
richmondia (Fisheries Division photo- 


Macquarie Perch Macquaria australasica 
The status of this species remains un- 
changed. There are few viable populations 
of Macquarie Perch in Victoria although 
there are infrequent reports of individual 
fish being caught from several localities. 
The decline in range and abundance of 
Macquarie Perch within this state has been 
well documented and attributed largely to 
habitat modification, particularly siltation 
of streams (Cadwallader 1981). A newly 
recognised threat is the viral disease 
epizootic haematopoietic necrosis (EHN). 
The EHN virus has been responsible for 
killing large numbers of Redfin (Perca 

fluviatilis) in south-eastern Australia, 

mainly in early summer outbreaks among 
O+ juveniles (Langdon and Humphrey 
1987) and there is preliminary experi- 
mental evidence that Macquarie Perch 
(and other native species) are also highly 
susceptible to the virus (Langdon 1988). 
The virus may have been at least partly 
responsible for the decline of Macquarie 
perch populations in the past, such as the 
rapid decline observed in the once abun- 
dant population in Lake Eildon. There is 
concern that the only remaining large 
population of Macquarie Perch, found in 
Lake Dartmouth, may suffer a similar fate. 
Any serious decline in this population, or 
an increased risk from Redfin virus may 
necessitate a prompt review of the status 
of Macquarie Perch. 

Tasmanian Mudfish Galaxias cleaveri 
Because the adults of this species gen- 
erally inhabit swamp areas, sampling is 
particularly difficult. One population has 
been located at Wilsons Promontory 
(Jackson and Davies 1982) and others may 
be present on the Promontory (P. Jackson 
pers. comm.). A single specimen has been 
recorded from the Otway region (Koehn 
and O’Connor in press). Previously listed 
as ‘Restricted distribution or rare..’, this 
species was placed in the vulnerable cate- 
gory by having small populations which 
occupy restricted habitats susceptible to 

Victorian Nat. 


rapid environmental change, Populations 
of this species are also likely to have 
declined and are threatened by the further 
drainage of swamp areas. The presence of 
a population within a National Park was 
not considered an adequate safeguard for 
this species. As this species has a juvenile 
whitebait stage (Fulton 1986), a study of 
whitebait along the Victorian coast may 
reveal whether there are other populations 
of this species. 

Australian Grayling Prototroctes maraena 

The distribution and status of this 
species has been reviewed by Jackson and 
Koehn (1988) and its conservation status 
remains unchanged. Further details of 
spawning biology have been reported by 
Hal] and Harrington (1989) and the up- 
stream migration of a juvenile whitebait 
specimen has been recorded from the 
Otway region (Koehn and O’Connor in 
press). Despite such studies, precise details 
of spawning and early life history stages 
remain unknown. Because of the need for 
migration, this species is affected by 
barriers to fish passage. Large populations 
of this species occur in the Mitchell, 
Tambo and Barwon Rivers; all water- 
courses on which the construction of 
major storages have been considered. 
Records from most other locations are of 
small numbers of juvenile fish which do 
not necessarily indicate the presence of 
viable populations. 

Silver Perch Bidyanus bidyanus 

Previously listed as vulnerable, the status 
of Silver Perch remains unchanged. The 
species is reliably found in only a few 
localities, usually near the Murray River 
and these populations may be dependent 
on recruitment from Murray River popu- 
lations. Barriers to fish passage caused by 
weirs and altered hydrological regimes 
below impoundments are likely to affect 
recruitment of this species. 

Murray Cod Maccullochella peeli 
Previously listed as vulnerable. The 

status of Murray Cod remains unchanged. 

The decline in abundance of this species 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

(Cadwallader and Gooley 1984) is still of 
concern although few data are available on 
present population levels. 

Freshwater Catfish Tandanus tandanus 
Previously listed as Indeterminate, but 
recent surveys indicate good populations 
in only a few widespread locations. This 
species was once widespread, but has suff- 
ered substantial declines in range and 
abundance for unknown reasons. It has 
successfully been introduced into the 
Wimmera River, but this river is itself 
subject to major environmental problems 
(Anderson and Morison 1988). 

Yarra pigmy perch Edelia obscura 

This species has often been mistaken for 
Southern Pigmy Perch. Recent surveys in 
Western Victoria have added few new 
localities to the distribution of Yarra 
Pigmy Perch which was previously known 
from only a few areas. This species has also 
probably suffered population reductions 
due to habitat alteration. Previously listed 
as ‘Restricted distribution or rare... 

Pouched lamprey Geotria australis 

Adults of this species have rarely been 
encountered in Victoria. Most of the 
locality records are those of ammocoete 
larvae, which are difficult to identify to 
species level and in general have been 
found only in small numbers in coastal 
streams. This species is not abundant in 
Victoria, although it is widespread 
throughout the world. Its lifecycle is 
complex as oceanic conditions may deter- 
mine its abundance. Previously listed as 

Australian Bass Macquaria novernaculeata 

This species is often confused with Es- 
tuary Perch (Macquaria colonorum). It is 
found only in east Gippsland where it is 
abundant in only a few localities, Aus- 
tralian Bass need clear fish passage to be 
able to migrate. Several rivers containing 
bass have been suggested for flow regu- 
lation and many catchments are subjected 
to logging. Previously listed as ‘Restricted 
distribution or rare... 



Dwarf Galaxias Galaxiella pusilla 

This species is reliant on swamp areas 
for habitats and distribution and abun- 
dance have undoubtedly declined because 
of wetland drainage, Populations some- 
times fluctuate widely in response to 
environmental conditions and although 
the species is widespread in southern 
Victoria, there are few areas where it is 
common. Management recommendations 
have been made to protect several popu- 
lations near to Melbourne (Koehn 1986a, 
1986b). Previously listed as ‘Indeter- 

Broad-finned Galaxias Galaxias 

Trout pose a serious threat to many 
galaxiid species and as with the Mountain 
Galaxias, thriving populations of this 
species have been reported only in the 
absence of trout. Koehn and O’Connor (in 
press) suggest that the Broad-finned 
Galaxias may also be excluded from its 
preferred habitats by trout. Because this 
species has a marine life-phase juveniles 
returning from the sea need to migrate 
upstream. Although it can negotiate most 
barriers because of its remarkable climbing 
abilities, such barriers may impair its 
success, Because the species moves into the 
upper reaches of streams it is particularly 
prone to predation by trout as it passes 
through the more open lowland waters, 
Previously listed as ‘Restricted distribution 
or rare..?. 

Spotted Galaxias Galaxias truttaceus 

As with the Broad-finned Galaxias, this 
species has a marine life phase and needs 
to be able to migrate upstream and is also 
prone to predation. Unlike the Broad- 
finned Galaxias however, this species has 
no extraordinary climbing skills and is 
substantially affected by barriers. Al- 
though widespread along the Victorian 
coast, few large populations have been 
found. Previously listed as ‘Restricted dis- 
tribution or rare... 


Golden Perch Macquaria ambigua 

Previously listed as vulnerable, recent 
surveys have increased knowledge of 
Golden Perch distribution. The past and 
present distribution of the species has 
recently been reviewed, and although 
releases of fry for angling purposes have 
expanded its range since 1975, its conser- 
vation status is still of concern (Brumley 
1987). The species’ range had previously 
been reduced, apparently by weirs which 
inhibit upstream movement of juveniles 
and adults, and populations below such 
weirs may be under threat from habitat 
alteration (Brumley 1987). It is considered 
to be more abundant and widespread than 
Murray Cod and Silver Perch which re- 
main classified as vulnerable. 

Freshwater Blackfish Gadopsis 

The status of this species was not 
changed because the taxonomy of the 
genus Gadopsis remains under review. Two 
distinet types of G. marmoratus (southern 
and northern) have been referred to in 
recent works (Ovendon et a/. 1988; Sanger 
1986) and a new species will probably be 

The description of G. bispinosus 
(Sanger 1984) and the documentation of 
distribution (Koehn in press) have lead to 
an effective reduction in the known range 
of G. marmoratus (northern). The upland 
streams where blackfish are most abun- 
dant in northern Victoria are now known 
to contain only G. bispinosus and there is 
now concern that because of low numbers 
of G. marmoratus (northern) in lowland 
streams this taxon may be classified as 
potentially threatened. 

Although G. marmoratus (southern) 
may still be considered common and wide- 
spread south of the Great Dividing Range, 
concern has been expressed about the 
state-wide reduction in its range and 
abundance particularly in the reduction 
in the number of populations still con- 
taining large specimens of this popular 

Victorian Nat. 


angling species. (Tunbridge and Glenane 
1988; Koehn 1984). 

Flat-headed Galaxias Galaxias rostratus 

There has been no new information on 
the distribution and abundance of Flat- 
headed Galaxias. There are few localities 
where the species can be reliably collected 
and with further information it is likely to 
be listed as a threatened species. Its status 
remains unchanged. 

Mountain Galaxias Galaxias olidus 

Rich (1986) has described two groups of 
G. olidus populations (southern and 
northern/western) which may be suffic- 
iently different to be listed as separate 
species. In addition, the Brown Galaxias 
was suggested as possibly qualifying as a 
subspecies and many other forms of G. 
olidus (e.g. high plains, lowland, coastal) 
have been recognised. The taxonomy of 
the G. olidus complex needs review and 
one or more of any new taxa described may 
fall into a threatened category. Indeed, G. 
olidus var. ‘fuscus’ has already been listed 
as endangered. 

Cox’s Gudgeon Gobiomorphus coxii 
Previously listed as ‘Restricted distri- 
bution or rare... The status of this species 
is uncertain partly because of possible 
confusion with the Striped Gudgeon. 
There are few confirmed records from Vic- 
toria where the species may be threatened. 

Striped Gudgeon Gobiomorphus australis 

Previously listed as ‘Restricted distribu- 
tion or rare... This species has been 
recorded only irregularly but its status is 
uncertain because of possible confusion 
with the apparently more common Cox’s 
Gudgeon. Listed with Cox’s Gudgeon 
until more reliable information on the 
status of these two species can be obtained. 

Freshwater Hardyhead Craterocephalus 

Previously listed as ‘Restricted distribu- 
tion or rare..), but recent surveys suggest 
its abundance and range may have declin- 
ed. An infrequently collected species 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

whose status is cause for concern, but for 
which good information is lacking. 

Lake Eyre Hardyhead Craterocephalus 

Previously listed as ‘Restricted distri- 
bution or rare..? Information on this 
species is lacking. Although probably 
never common or widespread, the species 
has recently been recorded only from a few 
saline lakes near Kerang. Attempts to 
collect this species from many sites 
described in earlier records in southern 
NSW have also been unsuccessful (W. 
Ivanstoff pers. comm.). 

Two-spined Blackfish Gadopsis bispinosus 
Two-spined Blackfish has only recently 
been described (Sanger 1984), Although 
abundant within its known range, this 
species is restricted to the upper reaches 
of streams in north-eastern Victoria 
(Koehn in press). 

Bony Bream Nematalosa erebi 

Previously listed as ‘Indeterminate’. 
Recent surveys have indicated this species 
to be locally abundant in several lakes near 
the Murray River, particularly in the 
Kerang and Mildura areas. There is little 
evidence of a decline in its range or abun- 
dance. The species’ distribution in Victoria 
is at the edge of its total range. 

Crimson-spotted Rainbowfish Mela- 
notaenia fluviatilis 

Previously listed as Common and 
Secure. This species is relatively abundant 
in some areas (particularly billabongs and 
swamps along the lower Goulburn and - 
Broken Rivers), but is not as widespread 
as was previously thought. 


Western Carp and Midgley’s/Lake’s Gud- 


H. Klunzingeri and Hypseleotris spp. 
These two undescribed species were not 

previously listed separately from the 

Western Carp Gudgeon. The three taxa of 

this species complex (Hoese ef al. 1980) 



are not easily distinguished in the field. All 
were considered common but until more 
specimens have been collected and records 
confirmed all three species should be listed 
as being of uncertain status. 

Dwarf Flat-headed Gudgeon Phily- 
pnondon sp. 

Previously listed as common and secure. 
This undescribed species may be easily 
confused with small specimens of the Flat- 
headed Gudgeon (Hoese ef al. 1980). 
There are few confirmed records from 
Victoria and its present status is unclear. 

Non-parasitic Lamprey Mordacia praecox 

This species was recorded in the La 
Trobe River by Harasymiw (1983) and has 
been provisionally listed pending a veri- 
fication of its identity. 


Although there has been an increase in 
our knowledge of the distribution and 
abundance of Victorian native freshwater 
fishes since the last review, the lack of 
information on many species noted by 
Cadwallader et. al, (1984) remains. Par- 
ticular disappointment was expressed 
about the lack of systematic surveys and 
the gaps in distributional data. Such 
information is considered vital to determ- 
ining the conservation status of any 
species. Compared to the effort expended 
on documenting the distribution of mam- 
mals and birds, the effort made to docu- 
ment fish distributions statewide has been 
minimal. Fauna surveys generally contain 
little or no information on fishes (e.g. 
Robertson et al. 1982; Chesterfield ef al. 

Distributional data for fish are generally 
compiled from the results of a variety of 
small surveys undertaken to monitor pop- 
ulations of angling species (e.g. Baxter 
1985), assess results of stockings, deter- 
mine environmental flow requirements 
(e.g. Tunbridge and Glenane 1988), or as 
aconsequence of other short-term studies. 
There are few areas within Victoria where 
freshwater fish have been surveyed thor- 
oughly: Wilsons Promontory (Jackson 


and Davies 1983a), the Otway region 
(Koehn and O’Connor in press), the Gram- 
pians (Jackson and Davies 1983b), West- 
ern Port catchment (Koehn 1986a) and 
Seven Creeks (Cadwallader 1979; Morison 
and Anderson 1987), and generally, sub- 
sequent surveys have not been conducted. 

East Gippsland, the Western districts, 
north and north-western Victoria are high- 
lighted as areas in particular need of 
comprehensive fish surveys. Most infor- 
mation is available for sportfish and more 
attention must be paid to the collection of 
information on smaller, non-angling 
species, particularly in northern Victoria. 
The lack of a computer database for 
storage of fish distribution information 
and the lack of comprehensive specimen 
collection to help overcome problems in 
taxonomy and identification were also 

Steps must be taken to overcome the 
obvious deficiencies in distributional and 
abundance data for fish species in Vic- 
toria. Priority should be given to compre- 
hensive surveys to determine whether or 
not the Southern Purple-spotted Gudgeon 
and Agassizis Perch still occur in Victoria. 
Similar surveys must be undertaken to de- 
termine the distribution of Freshwater 
Herring, Ewens Pigmy Perch and Brown 
Galaxias, all of which have received little 
attention. Their endangered status em- 
phasises the need for special management 
measures to be undertaken if these taxa are 
to survive. All taxa in the Indeterminate 
and Uncertain status categories need fur- 
ther study. 

In a recent review of the conservation 
status of small freshwater fish in the River 
Murray in South Australia, Lloyd and 
Walker (1986) also expressed concern at the 
lack of data available for non-angling 
species and at the decline of fish numbers 
and hence reductions in genetic diversity. 
They regarded four species, Agassizis 
Perch, Southern Purple-spotted Gudgeon, 
Southern Pigmy Perch and Freshwater 
Blackfish (northern), as being endangered 
in the lower Murray River. 

Victorian Nat. 


The list of freshwater fish species used 
for this review was based on the listing used 
by Cadwallader et al. (1984). Although 
several taxa were added, other species are 
likely to be present in Victoria. Several 
species of gudgeons and gobies may be 
present in Victoria but to date have not 
been identified or described. The Man- 
grove Goby Mugilogobius palidus has 
recently been reported from Western Port 
catchment (R. Kuiter pers. comm.). Several 
marine species e.g. Yellow-eye Mullet 
Aldrichetta forsteri are also often found 
in freshwater, but were not considered 
relevant for discussion. 

Although thirteen species have been 
considered to be ‘common and/or wide- 
spread’, these species should not be 
considered secure. Concern was expressed 
that all species need to be monitored to 
determine population changes and that 
efforts must be made to prevent species 
from moving into more threatened cate- 
gories. Threats to fish species (see Koehn 
and O’Connor 1990) may continue to 
operate regardless of the conservation 
status of the species involved unless 
management steps are taken to alleviate 
such problems. 

Even though a species may be wide- 
spread or abundant, extinction or reduc- 
tions of populations may occur in localised 
areas. For example, Southern Pigmy Perch 
are widespread in southern Victoria, but 
north of the Great Dividing Range its dis- 
tribution is very patchy and it has been 
considered as endangered in the lower 
reaches of the Murray River (Lloyd and 
Walker 1986). Such changes may be impor- 
tant warning signs to the deterioration of 
a species’ conservation status, and 
abundant species may rapidly be forced 
into threatened categories. 

This conservation listing, together with 
recommendations for Victorian species 
was presented to the Australian Society for 
Fish Biology Threatened Fishes committee 
at its annual meeting on 25 August 1989. 
As aresult, Ewens Pigmy Perch and Yarra 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

Pigmy Perch have been added to the cate- 
gories of Vulnerable and Potentially 
threatened respectively. Other Victorian 
species listed in threatened categories 
include: Trout Cod - Endangered and 
Non-parasitic Lamprey and Australian 
Grayling - Vulnerable. Macquarie Perch 
and Catfish were nominated for special 
investigation (J. Harris, unpub. data). 

The reviewers emphasise that this list is 
dynamic and any changes to a threatening 
process for a species can lead to a review 
in its status at any time. As suggested by 
Cadwallader et al. (1984), it is intended 
that the entire list be revised every five 
years, although changes may be made in 
the interim if necessary. 

It is hoped that this revision of the 
conservation status listing will assist with 
the determination of conservation priori- 
ties, Flora and Fauna Guarantee listings 
and management strategies for native 
freshwater fish in Victoria. 


The authors wish to thank the following 
people for their contributions to the 
compilation of this conservation listing: 
J. Anderson, A. Brumley, P. Cadwallader, 
A. Caughey, R. Fallu, R. Frankenberg, G. 
Gooley, P. Jackson, R. Kuiter, R. Lewis, 
J. McGuckin, S. Mueck, R. Myers, P. New- 
ell, W. O’Connor, D. O’Mahony, G. Paras, 
T. Raadik, P. Unmack. Thanks to D. 
O’Mahony, P. Jackson, W. O’Connor and 
R. Fallu for assistance at the review 
meeting, T. Raadik for details of museum 
specimens, D. Evans for comments on the 
manuscript, J. O’Connor for technical 
assistance and DocPrep Desktop Publish- 
ing for wordprocessing. 


Ahern, L. D, (1982), Threatened wildlife in Victoria 
and issues related to its conservation. Fish. Wildl. 
Pap., Vie, No, 27. 

Anderson, J. R. and Morison, A. K, (1988). Environ- 
mental flow studies for the Wimmera River, Vic- 
toria, Summary report, Arthur Rylah Institute for 
Environmental Research Technical Report Series 
No. 78. (Department of Conservation, Forests 
and Lands, Melbourne). 



Barnham, C. (1989), Summary of immediately avail- 
able records of non-indigenous and indigenous fish 
stockings in Victorian public waters 187] to 1988. 
Internal Working Report Vreshwater Fish 
Management Branch, Fisheries Division, Melbourne. 

Baxter, A. F. (1985). ‘Trout Management Group fish 
population surveys, 1975-79; location of sampling sites 
and fish species caught. Arthur Rylah Institute for 
Environmental Research Technical Report Series No. 
15. (Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands: 

Brumley, A. R. (1987). Past and present distributions 
of golden perch Macquaria ambigua (Pisces 
Percichthyidue) in Victoria, with reference to releases 
of hatchery-produced fry. Proc. Royal Soe, Viet. 99: 

Brumley, A. R., Morison, A. K. and Anderson, J. R, 
(1987). Revision of the conservation status of several 
species of warmwater native fish after surveys of 
selected sites in northern Victoria (1982-1984) Arthur 
Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Technical 
Report Series No. 33. (Department of Conservation, 
Forests and Lands: Melbourne), 

Cadwallader, P. 1. (1979), Distribution of native and 
introduced fish in Seven Creeks River System, Vic- 
toria, Aust. J Evol. 4; 361-385, 

Cadwallader, P, L. (1981), Past and present 
distributions and translocations of Macquarie perch 
Macquaria ausiralasica (Pisces: Percichthyidae), with 
particular reference to Victoria. Proc. Royal Soc, Vict. 
93: 23-40, 

Cadwallader, P, L. and Backhouse, G, N, (1983). ‘A 
Guide to the Freshwater Fish of Victoria’. (Government 
Printer; Melbourne), 

Cadwallader, P, L., Backhouse, G. N., Beumer, J. P. 
and Jackson, P. D, (1984). The conservation status of 
the native freshwater fish of Vietoria, Victorian Nat. 
Wd 112-4. 

Cadwallader, P. L. and Gooley, G. J. (1984), Past and 
present distributions and translocations of Murray 
Cod, maceullochella peeli and ‘Trout Cod M., 
macquariensis (Pisces: Percichthyidac) in Victoria, 
Prov, Royal Soc, Victoria, 9633-43. 

Chesterfield, E. A,, MacFarlane, M. A., Allen, D., 
Hutchinson, M. N., Triggs, B. and Barley, R. (1983). 
Flora and fauna of the Rodgers Forest Block, Bast 
Gippsland, Victoria forests Commission Victoria 
keological Survey Report No, 1, (Government Printer; 

Fletcher, A. R, (1979), Effects of Salmo trutta on 
Galaxias olidus and macroinyertebrates in- stream 
communities. M.Sc. thesis, Department of Zoology, 
Monash University, Clayton, Victoria. 

Fulton, W. (1986). ‘The Tasmanian mudfish Galaxtas 
cleuveri Scott. Fishes af Sahul 4, 150-1. 

Hall, D, N. and Harrington, D, J, (1989), Observations 
on the spawning and early life history of Australian 
grayling, Profotroctes maraend Gunther, in the Barwon 
River, Victoria. Arthur Rylah Institute for 
Environmental Research Technical Report Series No, 

Harasymiw, B. J, (1983), Effects of temperature on life 
stages of La Trobe River fish species. La Trobe Valley 
Water Resources Biological Studies Report Vol. V1. 
S.E.C. Planning Investigations Department: 

Harris, J. H. 1987 (Ed.) ‘Proceedings of a Conference 
of Australian Threatened Fishes’, Melbourne 15-16 
Aug. 1985 (Australian Society for Fish Biology: 

Hoese, D, F,, Larson, H. K. and Llewellyn, L. C- 
(1980). Family Eleotridae, Jn "Freshwater Fishes of 
South-eastern Australia ‘ Ed. R. M, McDowall, (Reed: 
Sydney) pp. 169-185. 

Holloway, C. (1979). LU.C.N., the Red Data Book, and 
some issues of concern to the identification and 
conservation of threatened species, /n ‘The Status of 
Australasian Wildlife. Ed. M, J. Tyler (Royal 
Zoological Society of South Australia: Adelaide) pp. 

Jackson, P. D, and Davies, J. N. (1982), Occurrence 
of the Tasmanian mudfish, Galaxias cleaveri Scott, on 
Wilsons Promontory - first record from mainland 
Australia. Proc, Roy, Soc. Victoria 92; 49-52, 
Jackson, P. D. and Davies, J. N, (1983a). "The 
Freshwater and Estuarine Fishes of Wilsons Promon- 
tory National Park’. (Government Printer: 

Jackson, P. D. and Davies, J. N. (1983b). Survey of 
the fish fauna in the Grampians region, south-western 
Victoria. Proc. R, Soc, Victoria 95: 39-51, 
Jackson, P. D, and Koehn, J. D. (1988), A review of 
biological information, distribution and status of the 
Australian grayling (Prototroctes maraena) Gunther 
in Victoria. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental 
Research Technical Report Series No. 52. (Department 
of Conservation, Forests and Lands: Melbourne). 
Koehn, J. D. (1984). Survey of angling and recreational 
use of the Gellibrand River, south-western Victoria. 
Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research 
Technical Report Series No. 10. 47pp. (Department of 
Conservation, Forests and Lands: Melbourne). 
Koehn, J. D. (1986a). Westernport catchment: fishes, 
their habitats and management recommendations. 
Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research 
Technical Report Series No. 40. 34pp. (Department of 
Conservation, Forests and Lands: Melbourne). 
Koehn, J. D. (1986b), Dandenong Creek: fishes, their 
habitats and management recommendations. Arthur 
Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Technical 
Report Series No. 41. (Department of Conservation, 
Forests and Lands: Melbourne), 

Koehn, J. D. (in press), Distribution and conservation 
status of the two-spined black fish Gadopsis bispinosus 
in Victoria, Proc. Royal. Soc, Vict. 

Koehn, J. D, and O'Connor W. G. (1990). Threats to 
Victorian native freshwater fish. Vietorian Nat.107: 

Victorian Nat. 


Koehn, J. D. and O’Connor, W. G. (in press). 
Distribution of freshwater fish in the Otway 
region, south-western Victoria. Proc, Royal Soc. 

Kuiter, R. H, and Allen, G. R. (1986) A synopsis of 
the Australian pigmy perches (Percichthyidae) 
with the description of a new species. Review Fr. 
Aquariol 12: 109-16. 

Langdon, J. S. (1988). Prevention and control of fish 
diseases in the Murray-Darling Basin. Jn: 
‘Proceedings of the Workshop on Native fish 
Management, Canberra 16 - 17 June 1988". 
(Murray Darling Basin Commission) pp. 163-172. 

Langdon, J. S. and Humphrey, (1987). Epizootic 
haematopoietic necrosis, a new viral disease in 
redfin perch, Perca fluviatilis L., in Australia. J. 
Fish Dis. 10: 289-297,. 

Lloyd, L. N. and Walker, K. F, (1986). Distribution and 
conservation status of small freshwater fish in the 
River Murray, South Australia. Trans. Royal Soc. 
South Aust.110: 49-57. 

McCarraher, D. B. (1986). Distribution and abundance 
of sport fish populations in selected Victorian 
estuaries, inlets, coastal streams and lakes. 1. 
Orbost region. Arthur Rylah Institute for En- 
vironmental Research Technical Report No. 43. 
(Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands: 

McDowall, R. M. and Frankenberg, R. S. (1981). The 
galaxiid fishes of Australia. Rec Aust. Museum 
33: 443-605. 

Morison, A. K. and Anderson, J. R. (1987). Status of 
trout cod Maccullochella macquariensis, 
Macquarie perch Macquaria australasica, and 
other fish populations in the upper reaches of 
Seven Creeks, based on surveys between 1981 and 
1987. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental 
Research Technical Report Series No, 59. 
(Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands: 

Ovendon, J. R.,’White, R. W. G. and Sanger, A. C. 
(1988). Evolutionary relationships of Gadopsis 
spp. inferred from restriction enzyme analysis of 
their mitochondrial DNA. J, Fish Biol, 32: 

Rich, C. (1986). A morphological and electrophoretic 
examination of geographical variation in the 
ornate mountain galaxiid Galaxias olidus 
Gunther. B.Sc. (Hons) thesis, University of 
Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria. 

Robertson, P., Duncan, P., Lumsden, L., Silveira, C. 
and Menkhorst, P., (1982). Report and recom- 
mendations on the special investigation into the 
vertebrate fauna of the Hill End Area. (unpub- 
lished internal report), Fisheries and Wildlife 
Service, Victoria. 

Sanger, A. C. (1984). Description of a new species of 
Gadopsis (Pisces: Gadopsidae) from Victoria. 
Proc, Royal Soc. Vict, 96; 93-97. 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

Sanger, A. C. (1986). The evolution and ecology of 
Gadopsis marmoratus complex. Ph.D. thesis, 
University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria. 

Tilzey, R. D. J. (1976), Observations on interactions 
between indigenous Galaxiidae and introduced 
Salmonidae in the lake Eucumbene catchment, 
New South Wales. Aust. J. Mar. Freshwater Res. 
27: 551-564. 

Tunbridge, B. R. and Glenane, T. G. (1988). ‘A Study 
of Environmental Flows Necessary to Maintain 
Fish Populations in the Gellibrand River and 
Estuary’. (Department of Conservation, Forests 
and Lands, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environ- 
mental Research: Melbourne). 

Watson, R. and Offor, T. (1989). The Flora and Fauna 
Guarantee. Victorian Nat,106: 152-4. 



A new locality for the Two-spined Blackfish 
(Gadopsis bispinosus) outside Victoria 
Mark Lintermans and Terry Rutzou* 

The Family Gadopsidae is endemic to 
fresh waters of southeastern Australia and 
currently contains two species, the River 
Blackfish Gadopsis marmoratus and the 
recently described Two-Spined Blackfish 
Gadopsis bispinosus (Sanger 1984). A 
third species of Gadopsis proposed by 
Parrish (1966) was not warranted on mor- 
phological grounds (Sanger 1984). 

As G, marmoratus was considered to be 
the only species of blackfish prior to 1984, 
the pre-1984 literature records this species 
as widely distributed throughout Tasmania 
and southeastern mainland Australia, 
extending as far north as the Condamine 
River in Southern Queensland (Jackson 
and Llewellyn 1980). The description of 
G. bispinosus means that the pre-1984 
distribution of blackfish needs re- 
examination to determine exactly which 
species is present. In the field G. bispinosus 
can be distinguished from G. marmoratus 
by a white outer edge on the dorsal, anal 
and caudal fins and by the presence of only 
two (range 1-3) dorsal fin spines instead 
of 11 (range 6-13) in G. marmoratus. 

As part of an ongoing fish survey of 
waters in the Australian Capital Territory, 
sampling was carried out in the Upper 
Cotter River catchment above Bendora 
Dam in the western ACT in 1988-89 (Fig. 
1). Blackfish in this river system always 
had been assumed to be G. marmoratus 
(Shorthouse 1979; National Capital 
Development Commission 1984, 1986). 
However, all the blackfish recorded from 
the Cotter Catchment during this survey 
were G. bispinosus with no G. marmoratus 

The Cotter River above Bendora Dam 
is part of the Namadgi National Park 
which contains 94,000 ha of mostly bush- 
land in the southern ACT (Fig. 1). In an 

*ACT Parks and Conservation Service, GPO Box 158, 
Canberra, ACT 2601. 


effort to conserve native fish and their 
habitats, fishing is prohibited in the Cotter 
River catchment above Bendora Dam. 
Consequently the Two-spined Black fish is 
totally protected within its known range 
in the Namadgi National Park. 

Gadopsis bispinosus has only been 
recorded from a number of localities in 
Victoria (Sanger 1984, 1986; Koehn 1987) 
and this is the first record of the species 
outside that State. In Victoria it is confined 
to the north-eastern tributaries of the 
Murray River, north of the Great Divid- 
ing Range (Ovenden ef al. 1988) and 
appears to prefer cool clear rocky-bottom- 
ed mountain streams. The Cotter River fits 
this description well. 

Anecdotal angler reports indicate that 
blackfish were caught in the adjacent 
Naas-Gudgenby catchment and the Murr- 
umbidgee River (Fig. 1) as recently as the 
late 1960s (Greenham 1981) but recent sur- 
veys have not recorded blackfish in either 
of these systems in the ACT. Whether these 
reports were of G. marmoratus or G, 
bispinosus is unknown. Both of these river 
systems are warmer, more turbid, and at 
lower altitudes than the Cotter River and 
as such may have been more suited to G. 

There are many streams and impound- 
ments surrounding the ACT which are 
reported to contain blackfish but the 
identity of the species present is not known 
and warrants further investigation. It 
would not be surprising to find G. bi- 
spinosus has a much wider distribution in 
this area. 


We thank David Singh and Craig Rich- 
ardson for assistance in the field and 
Andrew Sanger for confirmation of the 
species identification. 

Victorian Nat. 


4 ot a <A 
£ vi 
y j 
fee ™ 
y Poam \ 
: ) 
1 ( 
§ ) 
Aes o 
a, 2 

Namadgi National Park 

Fig. 1. Map of the ACT showing Namadgi 
National Park and river systems mention- 

ed in the text. 


Greenham, P. (1981). Murrumbidgee River Aquatic 
Ecology Study. Report to the National Capital 
Development Commission and the Department 

of the Capital Territory, Canberra. 

Jackson, P. D. and Llewellyn L. C. (1980). Family 
Gadopsidae - River Blackfish. Pp 160-161 in 
McDowall, R. M. (ed) Freshwater Fishes of 
Southeastern Australia. (A. H. and A. W. Reed: 


Koehn, J. D. (1987). Artificial habitat increases 
abundance of two-spined Blackfish (Gadopsis 
bispinosus) in the Oven’s River, Victoria. Arthur 
Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Tech. 

Report Series No. 56. 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

National Capital Development Commission (1986). 
Cotter River Catchment Environment Analysis. 
Tech. Paper No. 45, Canberra. 

National Capital Development Commission (1984). 
The Ecological Resources of the ACT. Tech. 
Paper No. 42, Canberra. 

Ovenden, J. R., White, R. W. G. and Sanger, A. C. 
(1988). Evolutionary relationships of Gadopsis 
spp. inferred from restriction enzyme analysis of 
their mitochondrial DNA. J. Fish Biol. 32: 

Parrish, R. H. (1966). A revision of the Gadopsidae 
with description of a new species from Tasmania. 
M.Sc. Thesis, Oregon State University, USA. 

Sanger, A. (1984). Description of a new species of 
Gadopsis (Pisces : Gadopsidae) from Victoria. 
Proc. Royal Soc. Vic. 96: 93-97. 

Sanger, A. C. (1986). The evolution and ecology of the 
Gadopsis marmoratus complex. Ph.D. Thesis, 
University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria. 

Shorthouse, D. J. (1979). Ecological Resources of the 
ACT. Report to the National Capital Develop- 
ment Commission. 



A species list for the Merri Creek area (Melbourne, Victoria) 
compiled in 1896. 
lan Clarke* 


The accompanying list of plant species 
of the Merri Creek area near North 
Coburg and Campbellfield (suburbs of 
Melbourne) was compiled in 1896 by H. 
M. R. Rupp (1872-1956), then a young man 
pursuing theological studies at the 
University of Melbourne. Rupp was born 
at Port Fairy in south-western Victoria, 
and his early interest in wild flowers was 
later fostered by J. Bracebridge Wilson, an 
uncle by marriage and headmaster of 
Geelong Grammar School which Rupp at- 
tended between 1883 and 1891. Brace- 
bridge Wilson (1828-1895) is probably best 
remembered in botanical circles for his 
contributions to the study of marine algae. 

Rupp pursued his botanical hobby with 
enthusiasm throughout his life and 
became one of the foremost orchid experts 
of his time. He published some 215 articles, 
and two books on the orchids of NSW 
(Willis 1956). From these, as well as the 
voluminous correspondence that he left 
behind, it is obvious that he was a careful 
observer and a meticulous recorder of his 
observations. Throughout his career in the 
ministry Rupp compiled catalogues of the 
plants that occurred in the various parishes 
in which he was stationed. Today, these 
lists form valuable early records of the 
plant life of these regions. Most of his time 
was spent in NSW, but six catalogues exist 
for areas of Victoria : Coleraine district 
(1892), Wando Vale (1892), Buninyong 
(1896), Kingston (c. 1896), Merri-Merri 
Creek (North Coburg, Campbellfield and 
district, 1896), and Beeac and adjoining 
localities (1898). Copies of these lists are 
held in the library of the National Herbar- 
ium of Victoria. 
*National Herbarium of Victoria, Birdwood Avenue, 
South Yarra, 3141, 


With increased attention in recent years 
being focussed on the original flora of 
urban areas, Rupp’s Merri Creek list has 
become a record of particular interest. 

The list is obviously not exhaustive. The 
grasses, sedges and rushes, for example, are 
entirely omitted. Rupp was aged 24 at the 
time and although his botanical training 
was thorough, few students of natural 
history come to grips with these groups 
without considerable study. Rupp himself 
acknowledges his ignorance, suggesting in 
the Wando Vale catalogue that these 
groups must await the ‘opportunity for 
more detailed study’. He was obviouly 
aware of his limitations and this enhances 
confidence in the accuracy of the existing 

Rupp’s botanical training began at a 
relatively early age. Many years later he 
recorded that he began collecting speci- 
mens of wildflowers at the age of seventeen 
when a boarder at the Geelong Grammar 
School (Rupp 1926). Bracebridge Wilson 
was instrumental in Rupp’s early training. 
He encouraged Rupp, as well as other boys 
at the School, to use Mueller’s Key fo the 
System of Victorian Plants (1888) which 
Rupp later recalled was heavy going! (L. 
A. Gilbert, pers. comm.). Wilson had pub- 
lished a small booklet on the flora of the 
Geelong district in about 1889 which 
included descriptions of several day trips 
that could be undertaken to see the local 
plants at their best. This may well have 
influenced and encouraged Rupp to follow 
his example. 

At the University of Melbourne Rupp 
studied biology and systematic botany, as 
well as systematic zoology, and won the 
Wyselaski Scholarship for Natural Science 
in December 1896. Much of his spare time 
was spent in botanical exploration in the 

Victorian Nat. 


‘wilds’ of the suburbs. He later recorded 
however that his most memorable holiday 
was to the Riverina in NSW when he stay- 
ed with his sister at Hay during the sum- 
mer of 1894-5 (Rupp 1926). Following this 
trip he corresponded with Ferdinand 
Mueller (1825-1896) whom he had visited 
previously and who assisted the young 
botanist to identify the many unfamiliar 
plants that he had discovered. Many years 
later (in December 1925) he was to donate 
a substantial plant collection to his old 
university; specimens still exist from these 
early years such as Drosera glanduligera 
collected at Mentone in September 1892 
or Viola betonicifolia from Mordialloc in 
October of the same year. 

Rupp was obviously familiar with the 
standard botanical texts of the time. One 
of his illustrations in the Wando Vale 
catalogue is cited as being ‘after Dendy and 
Lucas (1892)’, which was a teaching text 
written for Australian botany students by 
two of Baldwin Spencer’s staff. Spencer 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

Aree ip; 4 
md alee aa 

Merri Creek today. 

was then Professor of Biology at the Uni- 
versity. Rupp also says in the Beeac cata- 
logue that the nomenclature he used foll- 
owed Mueller’s Key to the System of Vic- 
torian Plants (1888), and this order is also 
followed in the Merri Creek list. For the 
keen student of the local flora, there were 
a number of contemporary texts available, 
largely due to the efforts of Mueller. As 
well as that cited above, these included his 
Introduction to botanic teachings at the 
schools of Victoria (1877), and The native 
plants of Victoria succinctly defined (part . 
1, 1879). Other works included Bentham’s 
Flora Australiensis (1863-78), and a 
volume of paintings of local species by 
Fanny Charsley (1867) that was dedicated 
to Mueller. 

It is interesting to see that some 70 of 
the 116 species recorded by Rupp are not 
included in a recent list in the booklet 
Plants of the Merri Merri published by the 
Merri Creek Co-ordinating Committee 
(1984), even though the latter encompasses 



a much wider geographic range and could 
be expected to be reasonably comprehen- 
sive. Presumably these are the species that 
have suffered most from disturbance and 
competition in the intervening years. A 
similar number of species noted by Rupp 
are not recorded in a list for nearby Studley 
ark and Yarra Bend Reserve published by 
MelIntyre and Yugovie (1982) and later 
updated by Willis (1984). Over 50 of 
Rupp’s records (here marked #) are not in 
either of these lists. 

For further details of Rupp’s life and 
work see Clarke (in press), Gilbert (1988) 
and Willis (1956), The booklet Plants of 
the Merri Merri includes information 
about the history of the region as well as 
describing the indigenous vegetation. 

In the following list, an attempt has 
been made to update the names of Rupp 

to conform to Forbes and Ross (1988). 
Where the name used by Rupp is different, 
this is placed in parentheses after the 
current name. A few names could not be 
satisfactorily updated; in the absence of 
voucher specimens it 1s sometimes im- 
possible to trace a record through the mire 
of taxonomic revisions and nomenclatural 
changes. Some problems have been noted 
in the list, but there may still be records 
that should be viewed with caution, for 
example where only one species was 
known at the time and several are now 
recognised (e.g. Acaena ovina). Rupp did 
not include authorities for his names. 

For convenience, the list is here arranged 
in alphabetical order of families within the 
major groups — Dicotyledons, Monocoty- 
ledons and Ferns. An asterisk preceding 
a name indicates that this is now consid- 
ered an introduced species. 

H. M. R. Rupp (1896) Catalogue of Plants, Merri-Merri Creek. 
(North Coburg and District), Victoria. 


Carpobrotus rosit 
(Mesembrianthemum aequilaterale) 
[C. modestus is recorded for Studley 
Park and Yarra Bend Reserve and is 
more likely to be the species that 
Rupp observed. C. rossii is now 
recognised as a coastal species; 
C. modestus had not then been 

# Alternanthera denticulata 
(A. triandra) 
Ptilotus spathulatus 


# Centella cordifolia (Hydrocotyle 

# Daucus glochidiatus (D. brachiatus) 
Eryngium ovinum (E. rostratum) 

# E. vesiculosum 

# Hydrocotyle laxiflora (H. candollet) 



# Brachyscome cardiocarpa 

# B. decipiens 

# B. spathulata (B. scapiformis) 
[B. scapiformis was considered by 
Davis (1948) to be part of the 
B. aculeata complex which has 
presented considerable taxonomic 
difficulties. Stace (1981) reduces 
B. scapiformis to synonymy under 
B. spathulata, as a species distinct 
from B. aculeata] 
Cotula australis 
C. coronopifolia 

# Craspedia glauca (C. richea) 

# Cymbonotus lawsonianus 
[Rupp most likely saw what is now 
called C. preissianus. Mueller (1888) 
and Bentham (1866) included only 
C. lawsonianus which is now 
considered to be localized in the NW 
Mallee and the E Highlands (Willis 

Victorian Nat. 


# Gnaphalium involucratum sens. lat. 
(G. japonicum) 
Helichrysum apiculatum 

# H. dendroideum (H. ferrugineum) 

# Leptorhynchos squamatus 

# Pseudognaphalium (Gnaphalium) 

# Sigesbeckia orientalis 
Triptilodiscus pygmaeus (Helipterum 

# Vittadinia cuneata (V. australis) 

# Myosotis suaveolens 


# Cardamine sp. (C. parviflora) 
[This could be one of a number of 
species currently recognised including, 
the native C. paucijuga and 
C. flexuosa, or the weedy C. hirsuta. | 

BRUNONIACEAE (included in 
# Brunonia australis 

# Isotoma fluviatilis 

Wahlenbergia gracilis 

[Early authors, e.g. Mueller (1888), 

and even up to Ewart (1931), give 

W. gracilis as the only species of 

Wahlenbergia occurring in Victoria. 

It is impossible to be sure which of 

the current species is intended. ]. 

Stellaria pungens 

Allocasuarina verticillata (Casuarina 



Einadia nutans (Rhagodia nutans) 
# Hypericum japonicum 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

Convolvulus erubescens 
Dichondra repens 

Crassula sieberiana (Tillaea 

# Drosera peltata ssp, auriculata 
(D. auriculata) 
D. peltata ssp. peltata (D. peltata) 
# D. whittakeri 

FABACEAE (included in 
Bossiaea prostrata 
# Glycine clandestina 
G. tabacina 
Hardenbergia violacea (Kennedya 
Indigofera australis 
Kennedia prostrata 

* Centaurium spicatum (Lrythraea 

Geranium solanderi (G. pilosum) 
Pelargonium australe 

# Goodenia geniculata 
G. ovata 


# Myriophyllum sp. (M. variifolium) 
[Rupp’s M. variifolium (= M. 
propinquum of Willis, 1973) is now 
recognised as four distinct species 
(Forbes and Ross, 1988), Of these, M. 
crispatum and M. simulans are the 
most likely species to have occurred 
in the region (Orchard 1986), | 

Ajuga australis 

# Mentha australis 
# Scutellaria humilis 



Linum marginale 

# Amyema pendulum (Loranthus 

# Lythrum hyssopifolia 

MIMOSACEAE (included in 
Acacia acinacea 
A, implexa 
A. mearnsii (A, mollissima) 
A. melanoxylon 
A, paradoxa (A, armata) 

Myoporum viscosum 

Eucalyptus camaldulensis (E. 
E. viminalis 
Leptospermum lanigerum 

# Epilobium billardierianum 
(E. glabellum) 

OXALIDACEAE (included in 


# Oxalis corniculata 
[This is now considered to be a 
species aggregate in Australia with 
both native and introduced species 
involved (Thompson 1982). | 

Bursaria spinosa 

Plantago varia 

Grevillea sp. (G. floribunda) 
[A polymorphic ‘species’ which 
included at least the currently 
recognised G. chrysophaea and 
G. polybractea, neither of which are 
likely in the area. G rosmarinifolia is 
recorded in ‘Plants of the Merri 
Merri’ (1984). ] 


Clematis microphylla 
Ranunculus lappaceus 

# R. plebeius (R. hirtus) 

Acaena anserinifolia 
(A, sanguisorbae) 
A. ovina 
Rubus parvifolius 

Asperula sp. (A. oligantha) 
[Three current species were included 
under this name - A. conferta, 
A, pusilla, and A. scoparia (Ewart 
1931). Of these, A. conferta is 
recorded by McIntyre and Yugovic 
(1982). ] 

# Galium australe 

Correa sp. (C. speciosa) 
[This name was applied to a wide 
range of material that is now 
recognised as a number of different 
taxa (Wilson 1961). The species most 
likely to have occurred in the area are 
C. glabra, recorded in Plants of the 
Merri Merri (1984), and C reflexa. | 

Exocarpos cupressiformis 



# Limosella australis (L. aquatica) 
Veronica gracilis 

* Solanum nigrum 
Nicotiana suaveolens 

# Stackhousia monogyna (S. linarifolia) 



# Levenhookia dubia (Leewenhoekia 

Victorian Nat. 


# Stylidium despectum (Candollea 

Pimelea curviflora 
P. humilis 


Hymenanthera dentata (H. banksii) 
# Viola betonicifolia 
# V. hederacea 

# Zygophyllum billardieri 


Triglochin procera 
# T. striata 


# Arthropodium milleflorum 
(A. paniculatum) 
Bulbine bulbosa 
Burchardia umbellata 

# Chamaescilla corymbosa 
Dianella revoluta 

# Hypoxis glabella (in family 

# Thysanotus patersoni 
Wurmbea dioia 


Corybas dilatatus (Corysanthes 
[Corysanthes pruinosa is now 
considered endemic to NSW (Jones 
1988, as Corybas pruinosus ) but was 
the only species recorded for Victoria 
by Mueller (1888). It is not 
synonymous with Corybas dilatatus 
(Clements 1982) but the latter seems 
most likely to be the species that 
Rupp observed. The name 
Corysanthes pruinosus had been 
misapplied to Corybas dilatatus by 
several authors in the past Willis 
(1970: 398). ] 
Diuris lanceolata (D. pedunculata) 

# Microtis unifolia (M. porrifolia) 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

# Pterostylis mutica 

# P. curta 

# P. cucullata 
[Rupp placed the name 
P. mackibboni in parentheses after 
this entry] 

# Potamogeton ochreatus 
(P. obtusifolius) 
[Rupp included a further ‘P’ here, 
perhaps indicating another, 
unidentified, species of 
Potamogeton. ] 

FERNS [Rupp included all ferns under 
the heading FILICES) 


# Adiantum aethiopicum 
Cheilanthes sp. (C. tenuifolia) 
[A number of taxa have been 
recognised as distinct from 
C. tenuifolia (Quirk et al. 1981). Of 
these C. austrotenuifolia seems the 
most likely to have occurred in the 
area. | 

# Pellaea falcata (Pteris falcata) 

# Asplenium flabellifolium 

Pteridium esculentum (Pteris 

Pleurosorus rutifolius (Grammitis 


I am indebted to Dr. J. H. Willis for 
making available the original Rupp lists. 
Dr. L. A. Gilbert kindly provided infor- 
mation on Rupp’s early life and botanical 
training. Thanks to David Albrecht and 
Neville Walsh for valuable comments on 
the manuscript. 




Bentham, G. (1863-78) ‘Flora Australiensis : a 
description of the plants of the Australian Terri- 
tory’. Vols 1-7. (L. Reeve & Co., London). 

Clarke, I, C. (in press) The history of the herbarium, 
School of Botany, University of Melbourne. Jn 
‘History of systematic botany in Australasia’. Ed. 
P. S. Short. 

Clements, M., A. (1982) ‘Preliminary checklist of Aus- 
tralian orchids’. (National Botanic Gardens, 

Charsley, F. A. (1867) ‘The wildflowers around Mel- 
bourne’. (Day & Son, London). 

Davis, G. L. (1948) Revision of the genus Brachycome, 
Proc. Linn, Soc, NSW 73: 141-241. 

Dendy, A. and Lucas, A. H.-S. (1892) ‘An introduction 
to the study of botany’. (Melville, Mullen & Slade, 

Ewart, A. J. (1931, not 1930) ‘Flora of Victoria’. (Govt 
Printer, Melbourne). 

Forbes, S. J. and Ross, J. H. (1988) ‘A census of the 
vascular plants of Victoria’. (Dept Conservation 
Forests and Lands, Melbourne). 

Gilbert, L. A. (1988) Rupp, Herman Montague 
Rucker. Jn ‘Australian dictionary of biography’. 
vol. 11. Ed. G. Serle, pp. 480-1. (Melbourne Univ. 

Jones, D. L. (1988) ‘Native orchids of Australia’. (Reed, 
Frenchs Forest, NSW). 

Merri Creek Co-ordinating Committee (1984) ‘Plants 
of the Merri Merri’. A guide to the indigenous 
vegetation of the Merri Creek valley and Mel- 
bourne’s northern suburbs. (MCCC, Melbourne). 

McIntyre, S. and Yugovic, J. (1982) A checklist for 
Studley Park and Yarra Bend Reserves, Victorian 
Nat. 99 (44): 147-52. 

Mueller, F. (1877) ‘Introduction to botanic teachings 
at the schools of Victoria, through references to 
leading plants’. (Govt Printer, Melbourne). 

von Mueller, F. (1879) ‘The native plants of Victoria, 
succinctly defined’. Part 1 (Govt Printer, Mel- 

von Mueller, F, (1886, not 1885) ‘Key to the system of 
Victorian plants 2’. Enumeration of the native 
species, arranged under genera and orders, with 
annotation of their original distribution and with 
xylographic illustrations (Govt Printer, Mel- 

von Mueller, F. (1888, not 1887-8) ‘Key to the system 
of Victorian plants I’, Dichotomous arrangement 
of the orders, genera and species of the native 
plants, with annotations of primary distinctions 
and supporting characteristics (Govt Printer, 

Orchard, A. E. (1986) Myriophyllyum in Australia LI, 
The Australian species. Brunonia 8: 173-291. 

Quirk, H., Chambers, T. C. and Regan M., (1983) The 
fern genus Cheilanthes in Australia. Austral. J. 
Bot. 31: 501-553. 


Rupp, H. M. R. (1926). ‘Notes on various plants . . ? 
Unpublished manuscript held in MELU (without 

Stace, H. M. (1981) Biosystematics of the Brachyscome 
aculeata (Labill.) Less. sensu G. L. Davis species 
complex. Aust. J. Bot. 29: 425-40. 

Thompson, J. (1982) Oxalis in Australia. Aust. Syst. 
Bot. Soc. Newsl. 32: 4-6. 

Willis, J. H. (1956) The passing of a great orchidologist 
(Rev. H. M. R. Rupp, 1872-1956). Victorian Nat. 
73: 105-110. 

Willis, J. H. (1970 and 1973, not 1972) ‘A handbook 
to plants in Victoria’. Vol. 1, 2nd ed., Vol 2. (Mel- 
bourne University Press). 

Willis, J. H. (1984) Native plants at Studley Park and 
Yarra Bend Reserves. Victorian Nat. 101 (2): 80. 

Wilson, J. B. (1889) ‘Excursions near Geelong in search 
of plants or Florula Corioensis; with a list of 
those collected by J. Bracebridge Wilson’. (G. 
Mercer, printer, Geelong). 

Wilson, P. G. (1961) A taxonomic revision of the genus 
Correa. Trans Roy. Soc. S, Aust. 85: 21-53. 

Victorian Nat. 



The President’s Picnic was held on 3 
December, and about 35 members enjoyed 
a visit to the Point Nepean National Park. 
The new national park has a total area of 
2200 hectares, incorporating the former 
Cape Schanck Coastal Park (40 km of 
ocean coastline between Flinders and 
Portsea), the southern section of the 
former Nepean State Park, and 200 hec- 
tares of Commonwealth land at Point 
Nepean which were transferred to the State 
of Victoria in 1988. 

An overcast morning developed into a 
warm sunny afternoon, tempered by a 
south-westerly breeze. After lunch in the 
picnic area adjacent to the car park, and 
an inspection of the Orientation Centre, 
we boarded the Transporter. This consists 
of five open boxlike carriages, each 
accommodating twelve passengers, pulled 
by a tractor, The Transporter runs at half- 
hourly intervals, and access to the park is 
strictly controlled, because of the fragility 
of the environment, and the dangers of the 
area. Much of the park is still Common- 
wealth property, fenced and conspicuously 
marked with warning signs about unex- 
ploded shells, and other military detritus. 
Walking is prohibited for the first few 
kilometres, as far as Cheviot Hill, though 
there is a scheduled stop at the cemetery 
before this. Unfortunately the cemetery is 
closed until the new year, so we were 
unable to inspect it. 

Climbing Cheviot Hill (54 m) gave us an 
excellent view over the coastline, Port 
Phillip Bay, and in particular Cheviot 
Beach, so called from the wreck of the 
“Cheviot” in 1887. Beyond the fence are 
the wooden benches built for people who 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 

President’s Picnic 1989 

attended the memorial service for Harold 
Holt who disappeared while swimming 
here in 1967. Considerable erosion was 
caused on Cheviot Hill by clearing of vege- 
tation during World War 1, and work is 
in hand to encourage regrowth of native 
plants. The dominant vegetation here is 
Melaleuca lanceolata, Leptospermum 
laevigatum, Leucopogon parviflorus and 
the introduced purple-flowered Polygala. 
Records indicate that before European 
settlement the vegetation consisted of open 
woodland of Casuarina stricta and 
Melaleuca lanceolata with grassy clear- 
ings. In places along the route the elegant 
outline of a lonely Casuarina stricta gave 
some impression of what the area must 
once have looked like. 

We continued on to Point Nepean, past 
decaying barracks, which it is hoped may 
be restored and converted into an educa- 
tion centre for the park. Fort Nepean was 
the major fortified area at Point Nepean 
from 1882 to 1945, and we were able to 
inspect all the gun emplacements, with 
various types of guns, and to admire the 
quality of the brickwork throughout, but 
especially in the main tunnel and the shafts 
connecting to the ammunition magazine. 
Going through the Engine House and 
down to the lower level brought us to the 
site of the Engineers’ barracks and the 
jetty, where the supply boat from Queens- 
cliff regularly arrived. 

The return journey in the Transporter 
at a leisurely 20 kph afforded us some 
spectacular views of the coastline and bay. 

It was an enjoyable day, and we thank 
Graeme Love for his choice of venue for 
the 1989 President’s Picnic. 

Sheila Houghton 


Prophetic Words 

“But perhaps the most interesting of the younger associations is that of the Field 
Naturalists, whose main delight it is to go abroad in company, to visit such districts 
as are likely to yield a harvest to the devotees of the hammer, of the net, or of the dredge; 
to the collector of plants or the sticker of insects. Their most notable ramble was that 
in which they were landed from a steamer on King’s Island, and overhauled that isolated 
region to carry back their various trophies of fauna, or flora, or mineralogy. The monthly 
evening meeting of these Field Naturalists is full of interest; each is so zealous about 
his own department, and all contribute so largely to the store of exhibits that crowd 
the tables. From these amateur enthusiasts there ought to spring the material for excellent 

research in future years.’’ 

From ‘Victoria and Its Metropolis: Past and Present’, (1888). 

November Meeting Report 

The November Meeting was the 50th 
Anniversary of the Australian Natural His- 
tory Medallion. Sheila Houghton (Vice- 
President FNCV) presented a most inter- 
esting talk on the history of the award. 
This history will be featured in a special 
article later this year. 

Professor Tony Lee, Vice-President of 
the Royal Society of Victoria, then pre- 
sented Bruce with the Medallion accom- 
panied by a speech on Bruce’s many 
achievements. Sheila Houghton has 
written up Bruce’s story on pages 260-61 
of the November/December issue, 

Bruce then thanked all his well-wishers 
with a speech noting those that had been 
the major influences in his life including 
the late Gordon Beaton, Jim Willis, Cliff 
Beauglehole, George Scott, Christine 
McGargill, Margaret Clayton, Golda 
Isaac, Betty Duncan, Christine Ashburner 
and Tom May. Bruce then showed us a 
selection of his magnificent slides. 

The Eds. 


100 Years Ago 
The Tall Trees of Victoria 

In a paragraph in the Victorian Natu- 
ralist for February last (vol. v, page 152) 
reference is made to a giant tree said to 
exist in the Dandenong Ranges. Since the 
paragraph appeared considerable corres- 
pondence has taken place in the press on 
the subject, and careful measurements of 
several reputed giant trees have been taken. 
The one previously mentioned has thus 
been reduced to 220 feet high and 48 feet 
6 inches in circumference at 6 feet from the 
ground. However, in the same locality, one 
was measured 271 feet high, but with 
smaller girth. Mr G. S. Perrin, F.L.S., Con- 
servator of Forests, published a tabulated 
statement of the tall trees of Victoria in 
the Argus of 11th June, 1889, from which 
it appears a height of 480 feet is claimed 
for a tree on the Black Spur (Mr W. Fer- 
guson); 470 feet for one at Mount Baw 
Baw (Mr G, W. Robinson); 415 feet for one 
in Cape Otway forest (Mr C. Walter); and 
392 feet for one near Fernshaw (Mr C. 
Walter), but these measurements require 
further verification. 

Anon., The Victorian Nat. Vol. 6, Sept. 
1889, p.88. 

Victorian Nat. 


The Victorian Naturalist is the bi- 
monthly publication of the Field Nat- 
uralists Club of Victoria. 


The Victorian Naturalist publishes 
articles on all facets of natural history. 
Its primary aims are to stimulate 
interest in natural history and to en- 
courage the publication of articles in 
both formal and informal styles on a 
wide range of natural history topics. 

Research Report 

A succinct and original scientific 
communication. Preference is given to 
reports on topics of general interest. 


Contributions may consist of 
reports, comments, observations, sur- 
vey results, bibliographies or other 
material relating to natural history. 
The scope is broad and little defined 
to encourage material on a wide range 
of topics and in a range of styles. This 
allows inclusion of material that 
makes a contribution to our know- 
ledge of natural history but for which 
the traditional format of scientific 
papers is not appropriate. 

Naturalist Notes 

Short and informal natural history 
communications. These may include 
reports on excursions and talks. 



Informative articles that provide an 
up-to-date overview of contemporary 
issues relating to natural history. 
Whilst commentary articles are 
invited, the editors welcome discus- 
sion of topics to be considered for 
future issues. 

Book Reviews 

Priority is given to major Australian 
publications on all facets of natural 
history. Whilst reviews are commis- 
sioned, the editors welcome sugges- 
tions of books to be considered for 

Any items of news concerning the 


Notice of coming events including 
activities of FNCV groups and any 
other activities of interest to Vic. Nat. 

Review Procedures 

Research reports and Contributions 
are submitted to the editors and are 
forwarded to the appropriate member 
of the editorial board for comment. 
All research reports are assessed by 
two independent qualified referees 
prior to publication. Contributions 
are assessed by the appropriate 
member of the editorial board and 
may be refereed at the editors dis- 
cretion. All other articles are subject 
to editorial review. 

Vol. 107 No. 1 (1990) 



Submission of Manuscripts 

The following general statements apply 
to all submitted manuscripts. 

Three copies of the manuscript should 
be provided, each including all tables and 
copies of figures. Manuscripts should be 
typed, double spaced with wide margins 
and pages numbered. The name and 
address of all authors should appear 
beneath the paper title. The full postal 
address, telephone number and fax 
number (if available) of the author who 
is Lo receive correspondence and check the 
proofs should be provided, 
Abbreviations and Units 

SI units (metre, kilogram, etc.) should 
be used wherever possible. Statistics and 
measurements should be given in figures 
(i.c. 10 mm) except where the number 
beings a sentence. When a number does 
not refer to a unit of measurement it is 
spelt out, unless the number is greater than 
nine. The word ‘figure’ should be abbrevi- 
ated to Fig. unless starting a sentence. 
Tables and Figures 

All illustrations (including photographs) 
are considered as figures. All figures 
should be referred to in the text. Original 
figures or high quality photographic 
copies should be provided with the manu- 
script. Each figure should bear the figure 
number and authors name on the back in 
pencil. Line drawings should be in black 
Indian ink on stout white paper or high 
quality tracing paper. Lettering should be 
added bearing in mind legibility after 
reduction. Bar scales are preferred to 
numerical scales. Figure captions should 
be numbered consecutively (Fig. 1, Fig. 2, 
etc.) and provided on a separate page al 
the end of the manuscript. 

Tables should be numbered consec- 
utively (Table 1, Table 2, ete.) and should 
have an explanatory caption at the top. 
The presentation of the same data in both 
tabular and graphical form should be 
avoided. Tables and figures should be 
designed to fit within a page width (115 


mm) or a column width (55 mm) following 


References should be cited in the text by 

author and year and listed at the end of 

the text in alphabetical order and in the 
following form: 

Ashton, D. H. (1976). Phosphorus in forest 
ecosystems at Beenak, Victoria, Aust. J. 
Ecol., 64: 171-86. 

Gill, A. M. (1981), Adaptive responses of 
Australian vascular plant species. /n 
‘Fire and the Australian Biota’. Eds A. 
M. Gill, R. H. Groves and T. R. Noble, 
pp. 243-72. (Australian Academy of 
Science: Canberra). 

Leigh, J., Boden, R. and Briggs, J. (1984). 
‘Extinct and Endangered Plants of 
Australia’. (MacMillan: Australia). 
Titles of journals should be abbreviated 

according to the most recent (4th) edition 

of the World List of Scientific Periodicals 

(available at most libraries). 

Other methods of referencing (e.g. 
footnotes) may be acceptable in manu- 
scripts other than research reports. The 
editors should be consulted prior to the 
submission of a manuscript that uses a 
method other than author-date. 
Research Reports 

A research report is a succinct, formal, 
original scientific communication. Prefer- 
ence will be given to reports that make a 
significant contribution to natural history 
literature and are of general appeal. The 
manuscript should consist of an abstract 
not exceeding 250 words, an introduction, 
methods, results, discussion, acknow- 
ledgements and references. 
Contributions and Naturalist Notes 

The general comments on figure and 
table presentation, referencing and units 
also apply to these manuscripts. The 
appropriate style and format will vary with 
the manuscript but concise simple English 
should be used at all times. The use of sub- 
headings is encouraged where they im- 
prove comprehension. 

Victorian Nat. 

Friday 13th - Sunday 16th April Saturday 21st - Sunday 2nd April 
Neds Corner, Mallee. Water Rats, Werribee, 

Botany Group 
The group contact is Miss Margaret Potter (Phone 299 2779). 

8 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month, National Herbarium. 

Thursday 8th February National Herbarium, on the flora of 
Talk by the well known botanist Helen Borneo and North Sumatra. 
Aston titled “Aquatic plants in Aus- Thursday 12th April 
tralia - their morphology, taxonomy, 
distribution and impact on the environ- 

Thursday 8th March 
Talk by David Albrecht, from the 

A panel of members will talk on the 
theme “Autumn in the bush - Fruits 
and Flowers”. 

Saturday 24th February Saturday 28th April 
Aquatic plants excursion. Possibly in “Six zones of coastal plant associa- 
the Seymour area. tions”. An excursion to Tyabb, Hastings 
Saturday 24th March and Crib Point, Leader Stefanie 

“Mountain fruits and trees”. An excur- Rennick. 

sion to Mt Donna Buang. Leader 
Hilary Weatherhead. 

Microscopical Group 
The group contact is Mrs Elsie Graham (Phone 469 2509). 

8.00 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at The Astronomers Residence, 
Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra. 

Wednesday 21st February Wednesday 18th April 
How to use a microscope. How to il- The Scanning Electron Microscope - 
luminate an object to get the best result. How does it work? There will also be 

Wednesday 21 March a display fo S.E.M. photographs. 

A talk by Mr P. E. Bock titled 
“Bryozoa or Polyzoa - What are 

The Hawthorn Junior Field Naturalists Club 
Meetings at 7.30 p.m., last Friday in the month at Balwyn Primary School, corner 
of Balwyn and Whitehorse Roads, Balwyn. Contacts are Jonathon Stevenson (830 5886) 
or Rohan Clarke (725 8923). 

Friday 23rd February Friday 30th March 
Mutton Birds. Easter camp at Lower Glenelg. 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

In which is incorporated the Microscopical Society of Victoria 
Established 1880 

| O National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra, 3141. 

By ‘Manbers iclu 

imulate interest in natural history and to preserve 
otect Australian fauna and flora. 
beginners as well as experienced naturalists, 
yr John Davis McCaughey, The Governor of Victoria. 

Key Office-Bearers 1988-1989 

Vice President: Mrs. SHELA HOUGHTON, FNCY, National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, 
South Yarra, 3141 (551 2708) 

Hon. Secretary: Mr. JULIAN GRUSOVIN, 1 Warriner Court, East Oakleigh, 3166. (524 2396 
B.H. and 543 8627 A.HL.) 

Hon. Treasurer: Mr BRUCE ABBOTT, 4/597 Orrong Road, Armadale, 3143. (529 4301 A.H.), 

Subscription-Secretary: Ms DIANNE CHAMBERS, FNCY, c/- National Herbarium, Birdwood 
Avenue, South Yarra, 3141 (348 1692 A.H.) 

Editors: ROBY N WATSON and TIM OFFOR, FNCYV, c/- National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, 
South Yarra, 3141 (419 3532 A.H. and 344 7150 B.H.) 

Librarian: Mrs. SHEMLA HOUGHTON, FNCY, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, South 
Yarra, 3141 (551 2708) 

Excursion Secretary; Mrs. JOAN HARRY, 342 High Street, Templestowe, 3107 (850 1347) 

Club Reporter: Vacant. 

Conservation Co-ordinator: Mr. BERT LOBERT, 378 Cotham Road, Kew, 3101. (859 4716 A.H.) 

Sales Officer (Books); Vacant, 

Sales Officer (Victorian Naturalist only): Mr. D. E. McINNES, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 
3145 (S71 2427) 

Programme Secretary: Vacant. 

Publicity Officer: Miss MARGARET POTTER, 1/249 Highfield Road, Burwood, 3125. (29 2779) 

Diary Co-ordinator; Mr, D, E. McINNES, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 3145 (211 2427) 

Group Secretaries 
Botany; Miss MARGARET POTTER, 1/249 Highfield Road, Burwood, 3125 (29 2779). 
Geology; Miss HELEN BARTOSZEWICZ, 16 Euroa Avenue, Nth. Sunshine, 3020 (311 5106 A.H.) 
Fauna Survey: Me. JULIAN GRUSOVIN, | Warriner Court, East Oakleigh, 3166. (543 8627). 
Microscopical; Mrs. ELSIE GRAHAM, 147 Broadway, Reservoir, 3073 (469 2509) 

Membership of the F.N.CY. is open to any person interested in natural history. The Victorian 
Naturalist is distributed free to all members, the club’s reference and lending library is available 

and other activities are indicated in reports set out in the several preceding pages of this magazine, 
Subscription rates for 1990 
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Individual journals 


: The 


Vol. 107 (2) | April 1990 

Published by The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 
since 1884 

General Meetings 
Held on the second monday of the month (except for public holidays), 8.00 p.m. 
at the National Herbarium, corner of Birdwood Avenue and Dallas Brooks Drive, South 
Yarra. Meetings include a talk by a guest speaker. All members of the public are welcome. 
Monday 9th July Monday 10th September 
Monday 13th August 

FNCV Excursions 
Special notice: some excursions will be held on Saturdays since public transport is 
more frequent than on Sundays. For details of excursions contact Dorothy Mahler (Ph. 

850 9379 after 6.00 p.m.). Sunday 5th August 

Sunday Ist July Blackburn Lake. Meet at Blackburn 
Zoological gardens. Meet at the Royal Station at 10.30 a.m. Catch 10.03 a.m. 
Park entrance at 10.30 a.m. Catch the train at Flinders Street Station. 

No. 68 tram from Elizabeth Street 
Terminal (runs about every 30 mins., 
9.40, 10.11). 

Group Activities 
Fauna Survey Group 
Meetings (First Tuesday in the month) 
Tuesday 3rd July Tuesday 7th August 

Botany Group 
Group Meetings (Second Thursday) 
Thursday 12th July Thursday 9th August 
Mosses. Arthur Thies. From Dalhousie to Western Queens- 
land. Margaret Corrick. 
Thursday 13th September 

Saturday 28th July Saturday 25th August 
Mosses. Warburton area. Leader Cranbourne annexe of the Royal 
Arthur Thies. Botanic Gardens. Leader to be arranged. 

Geology Group 
Group Meetings (First Wednesday) 

Wednesday 4th July Wednesday 8th August 

Microscopical Group 
Group Meetings (Third Wednesday) 

Wednesday 18th July Wednesday 19th September 
Collecting plankton. Pollen slides. Members to make and 
Wednesday 15th August display. 

Polarised light and the microscope. 

Hawthorn Juniors 
Group Meetings (Last Friday) 
Friday 27th July Contacts: Gerard Marantelli 497 2281 
Alpine Wildlife. Peter Kelleher 337 6405 
Friday 31st August 
To be arranged. 



Volume 107 (2) April, 1990 

Editors: Tim Offor and Robyn Watson. 

Editorial@y a 1 ame Tee Sars Meets gered: Mas Pee nt Tie ne Bae hl PT a) 44 

Research Reports Impact of an autumn fire on a long-grazed Themeda triandra 
(Kangaroo Grass) grassland: implications for management of 
invaded, semmant vegetations by lan Ds Unt... ses. cnceseestoassersress 45 

Mammals of The Gurdies, Westernport Bay, a proposed Flora and 

Hamas Resenvecs yy Ch. Cte WLISO/Imits meet teet Mecca oe ae th ee eee ate 52 
Contributions AS ONG AMUMCETS CG ATED 1 ee nev CLI CSact a ote an meee als eee 58 
Index Volume 106 (centre insert) 
Reports ENCVERSpOLMDyy@ OUNGI My meme: autem ee ete eee et a) acids Saancee creat 65 
BPNGVeAnniallifinanciall (Statements... tear y.2tes tacts) eon adtsoaaehs iets 66 

ISSN 0042-5184 

Cover photo: Derrimut Grassland Reserve under a previous management regime. 
(See research report on p. 45). Photo: Keith McDougall. 


From the Editors 

One of the challenges facing us as the 
editors of a natural history journal with 
a scope as wide as The Victorian Naturalist 
is arriving at an editorial style that is both 
straightforward to read and is in general 
agreement with the standards of the major 
schools of natural history (possibly a case 
of you can’t please all the people all the 

Common names are a case in point. 
Common names (those used in common 
by most people) are not to be confused 
with vernacular names which are used in 
particular regions. Many of the specialist 
journals seldom use common names since 
their scope is often narrow and they are 
not targeted at a general audience. The 
Victorian Naturalist on the other hand is 
read by a diverse range of people with just 
as wide a range of interests and expertise. 
So common names are desirable for com- 
municating across this broad range. How 
many of us would know what animal was 
being referred to in a paper titled “Habitat 
preferences of Cherax destructor’? Yet 
many of us no doubt caught them by the 
dozen when we were children and could 
provide volumes of information on habitat 
and food preferences of Yabbies. 

Agreeing on an appropriate common 
name is often not an easy task. Some 
groups have taken the bil between their 
teeth and thrashed out lists of recom- 
mended common names. Australian orni- 
thologists, mammalogists and herpeto- 
logists seem to have given the matter a 
good deal of thought and have produced 
sensible and comprehensive lists of com- 
mon names. Botanists also have tackled 
the problem of standardized common 
names. Jim Willis gave the issue a great 
deal of thought when writing “A Hand- 
book to Plants in Victoria”. His sources 
of common names included Ewart’s 
“Flora of Victoria” (1931), CSIRO Bulletin 
No. 272 (“Standardized Plant Names” 
1953) and the Plant Names Subcommittee 
of the FNCV. 

It is perhaps not surprising that some 
of the less well known plants share 
common names in Willis since the 1990 
edition of “A Census of Vascular Plants 
of Victoria” by J. H. Ross lists 4,125 taxa 
(without common names I might add). 

It is interesting to note that a list of Rare 
and Threatened plants currently being 
prepared by the Victorian Department of 
Conservation and Environment will 
include common names for all species. 
Clearly this is a recognition that these 
names are meaningful and are readily 
communicated to land managers and the 
general public. 

Recently we have had a minor debate on 
whether the first letters of a common name 
should be upper or lower case. Tradition- 
ally capitals have been used to give words 
emphasis, but the trend in more recent 
times has been to decrease the use of 
capital letters. But lower case common 
names can often lead to confusion. Is a 
“common blue-tongued lizard” Tiliqua 
scincoides or is it a particularly abundant 
reptile with a blue tongue and possibly of 
unknown identity? An upper case initial 
avoids this problem, particularly when the 
first word is an adjective. However, this 
usage suggests that there is some degree 
of agreement over the nomenclature. This 
may not be the case with a vernacular 
name. For this reason we shall only be 
capitalising the initials of common names 
which have been carefully considered and 
allocated by experts in the appropriate 

Editors spend much time discussing 
style and standardization and are some- 
times criticized for being pedantic. When 
the business is information communi- 
cation we must all try to speak the same 
language. Careful attention to nomen- 
clature, reference citations, punctuation, 
abbreviation and other points of style 
helps to communicate the intended mess- 
age to the greatest number of people. Isn’t 
that why we write? Eds 


Calendar of Events will be published in the next issue pending confirmation 
of speakers. 


Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

Impact of an autumn fire on a long-grazed Themeda triandra 
(Kangaroo Grass) grassland: implications for management of 
invaded, remnant vegetations 
lan D. Lunt* 


The regeneration of vegetation after an 
intense autumn fire was studied ina long- 
unburnt and long-grazed Themeda tri- 
andra Forssk. grassland at the Derrimut 
Grassland Reserve, Melbourne. Floristic 
composition and species richness did not 
change due to burning. The fire promoted 
abundant regeneration of exotics from 
seed, particularly *Vulpia bromoides, 
*Romulea rosea, *Briza minor and *Aira 
cupaniana. However, few native species 
regenerated from seed. Seedling regenera- 
tion reflected the composition of the soil 
seed bank after 80 years of grazing. In 
long-grazed grasslands (and presumably 
other communities) in which exotics are 
abundant, burning will continue to pro- 
mote exotic species. If vegetation manage- 
ment aims to promote natives at the 
expense of exotics, fire cannot be used as 
the primary tool of management. Integrat- 
ed techniques of vegetation manipulation 
must be developed. 


Temperate grasslands dominated by 
Themeda triandra (Kangaroo Grass: 
formerly 7) australis) are poorly repre- 
sented in conservation reserves in Australia 
(Specht 1981) and the best remnants in 
Victoria are typically small fragments on 
rail and road easements (Stuwe and Par- 
sons 1977, Stuwe 1986). Effective con- 
servation of the grassland biota requires 
the reservation of large areas, but suitable 
sites invariably have been grazed by stock 
for considerable periods. Consequently, 

“Department of Botany, Lalrobe University, 
Bundoora, 3083. Present address: Flora and Fauna 
Survey and Management Group, Department of 
Conservation and Environment, P.O. Box 406, Kew, 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 

they generally have relatively low diversi- 
ties of native species, few rare plants, many 
exotics and, at least in some cases, a soil 
seed bank dominated by exotics (Stuwe 
and Parsons 1977; Scarlett and Parsons 
1982; Stuwe 1986; Lunt 1990a,b). 

The maintenance of biological diversity 
is a principal aim of conservation manage- 
ment. Themeda grasslands require 
frequent disturbance to maintain their 
diversity, as 72 triandra may rapidly 
exclude other herbs due to its tall stature, 
litter accumulation and lateral tillering 
(Stuwe and Parsons 1977; Kirkpatrick 
1986; McDougall 1989), Many remnants 
that have not recently been burnt or grazed 
possess dense 7, triandra (over 90 percent 
cover) with few individuals of other species 
(Stuwe 1986; McDougall 1989). 

Burning is generally considered to be the 
most appropriate form of disturbance 
(Robertson 1985; Kirkpatrick 1986; Stuwe 
1986) as it is less selective than grazing 
(Robertson 1985) and provides, in contrast 
to slashing, bare ground for seedling 
establishment. Mowing or slashing may in 
fact decrease the diversity of native species 
(Kirkpatrick 1986). It is usually recom- 
mended that 7. triandra grasslands be 
burnt every three to five years to maintain 
diversity (Robertson 1985; Stuwe 1986; 
McDougall 1987, 1989) although, with 
little relevant data, the effects of fire 
frequency, season and intensity, on both 
native and exotic species, remain largely 

The Derrimut Grassland Reserve occu- 
pies 154 ha, 14 km west of Melbourne, 
Victoria (37° 48' 30" S, 144° 47' 40" EB), 
and has been managed for grassland con- 
servation since 1985. It was previously 


Research Reports 

grazed for over 80 years, and during this 
period was rarely burnt. Some areas were 
ploughed last century. The vegetation of 
the reserve is described by Lunt (1990a). 
The most widespread vegetation is 7 
triandra grassland, the composition of 
which is similar to that in many grazed, 
private properties throughout western 
Victoria (Stuwe 1986). Thus, species rich- 
ness of native plants is often low (on 
average, eight natives per 15 m*); in some 
places T. triandra attains almost 100 
percent cover with few other native species; 
many of the most abundant species are 
exotic and the soil seed bank is over- 
whelmingly dominated by exotics (Lunt 
1990 a, b). Nevertheless, the reserve is 
considered to be of National botanical 
significance (Cheal er a/. in press) and 
contains 102 native species including three 
that are rare or vulnerable in Victoria 
(Gullan e7 al. 1989) and many others that 
are rare in the Melbourne region (Cheal 
et al. in press). 

In April 1987 part of the reserve was 
unintentionally burnt. As data on the 
vegetation and seed bank were collected 
six months previously (Lunt 1990a, b), this 
event provided an opportunity to docu- 
ment the effects of a single autumn burn 
on a long-unburnt and long-grazed T 
triandra grassland. In this paper, post-fire 
regeneration is described, and the implic- 
ations for fire management of long-grazed 
T. triandra grasslands, and invaded rem- 
nant vegetations in general, are discussed. 

The fire event 

About 2] ha of the Derrimut Grassland 
Reserve were burnt on 18 April 1987. 
Weather on the day was fine and warm, 
and little if any rain had fallen in the 
previous week. The fire front was less than 
100 m wide at the northern boundary of 
the reserve and expanded to about 270 m 
wide in the south of the reserve. In the calm 
conditions the fire progressed slowly, 
giving a uniform, intense burn. All plant 
material was consumed except for the 
lower 20-30 mm of tillers of TZ: triandra, 


which were severely scorched. A thin layer 
of ash covered the ground after the fire had 


The impact of the fire was studied by 
three methods: (1) comparing the vege- 
tation in burnt areas with pre-fire data, (2) 
measuring plant densities in burnt and 
adjacent unburnt areas, and (3) noting the 
regeneration strategy and flowering be- 
haviour of all species in the burnt area. 

The fire burnt 11, 5 x 3 m quadrats that 
were surveyed in November 1986. These 
quadrats were re-sampled in November 
1987, as were seven, unburnt (control) 
quadrats. The cover of all vascular plants 
in each quadrat was assigned to the Braun- 
Blanquet scale (Mueller-Dombois and 
Ellenberg 1974). The pre- and post-fire 
vegetations of all quadrats were compared 
by the TAXON computer program — a 
polythetic, agglomerative, hierarchical 
cluster analysis - using the Jaccard 
similarity coefficient in the program 
SIMQUAL (Rohlf 1985). Presence/ab- 
sence data were analysed in preference to 
Braun-Blanquet cover values in order to 
emphasise floristic over structural changes. 

To measure plant densities (individuals 
per m2) five transects were placed at 100 
m intervals across the eastern and western 
edges of the burnt area, with their mid- 
points directly above the fire boundary. 
Four, 0.25 m? quadrats were set 4 m apart 
on each transect, two in the burnt and two 
in the unburnt area. A total of 20 quadrats 
were sampled, 10 burnt and 10 unburnt. 
All supported species-poor 7. triandra 
grassland before the fire. Individuals of all 
species were counted in each quadrat, as 
were seedlings and established tussocks of 
T. triandra. Densities were increased by 
one to calculate the logarithms of null 
results and were then transformed logar- 
ithmically to reduce the heterogeneity of 
variances and allow statistically valid 
comparisons by the Student’s t-test. Data 
are presented as backtransformed means 
with 95 percent confidence limits (Sokal 
and Rohlf 1981). 

Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

The mode of regeneration, from seed or 
vegetative organs, and the incidence of 
flowering in 1987 were recorded for all 
species that regenerated in the burnt area. 
Plant nomenclature follows Forbes and 
Ross (1988) and asterisks denote exotic 

Floristic composition 

The comparison of pre- and post-fire 
data from the eleven burnt quadrats 
showed no consistent change in vegetation 
composition as a result of the autumn fire. 
With only one exception, the post-fire 
vegetation at each quadrat was more 
similar to the pre-fire vegetation at that 
quadrat than to the pre- or post-fire 
vegetation at any other quadrat. The fire 
did not affect species richness, and a mean 
of 24 species per quadrat was recorded 
both before and after burning. Similarly, 
the magnitude of vegetation change from 
1986 to 1987 was the same in both burnt 
and unburnt (control) quadrats; the Jac- 
card similarity index averaged 58 percent 
for both. 

Very few new species consistently ap- 
peared in and no species consistently 
disappeared from quadrats after burning. 
The annuals *Cuscuta epithymum, *Lin- 
aria pelisseriana, Spergularia rubra and 
Wahlenbergia gracilenta were only recor- 
ded from burnt quadrats where they were 
uncommon or rare, although *C. epith- 
ymum and W. gracilenta occurred in other, 
unburnt parts of the reserve. 

Plant densities 

Plant densities were measured for 24 
species (Table 1). Eight species were sig- 
nificantly more abundant in burnt areas: 
Agrostis avenacea, *Aira cupaniana, 
*Briza minor, Danthonia species (princi- 
pally D. caespitosa and D. setacea), Juncus 
bufonius, *Romulea rosea, Themeda 
triandra and *Vulpia bromoides. *Bromus 
hordeaceus was more abundant in unburnt 
areas. The annual *Vulpia bromoides 
increased 100-fold after the fire, with up 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 

to 1150 individuals in one burnt 0.25 m? 
quadrat. The post-fire density of 7 
triandra seedlings was underestimated due 
to difficulties in distinguishing seedlings 
from vegetatively regenerating tussocks. 
Since all tussocks of T, triandra regenera- 
ted after the fire, the density of established 
tussocks did not differ significantly 
between burnt and unburnt quadrats. 

Regenerative strategies 

Eighty nine species were recorded from 
the burnt area, comprising 58 natives and 
31 exotics (Appendix 1). All annual species 
and all but three perennials, Dichondra 
repens, Pimelea serpylliflora and Soleno- 
gyne dominil, flowered by December 1987, 
within nine months of the fire. 

All perennial species proved capable of 
vegetative replacement, but few multiplied 
vegetatively: they included Haloragis 
heterophylla, Helichrysum rutidolepis and 
Plantago gaudichaudii. Only ten native 
and four exotic perennials were observed 
to regenerate from seedlings: Acaena 
echinata, Calocephalus citreus, Convol- 
vulus erubescens, Eryngium ovinum, Heli- 
chrysum apiculatum, *Hypochoeris radi- 
cata, Leptorhynchos squamatus, Oxalis 
perennans, *Plantago coronopus, *Plant- 
ago lanceolata, *Romulea rosea, Solen- 
ogyne dominii, Stipa species and Themeda 
triandra. However, seedlings of all but 
*Romulea rosea and T. triandra were 
considerably less abundant than were 
plants that regenerated vegetatively. 
Seedlings of native perennials did not 
flower in 1987. 

Three perennials were more abundant 
in burnt than unburnt areas: Themeda 
triandra, *Romulea rosea and Danthonia 
species. Themeda regenerated from 
tussocks and seed and *Ramulea from 
corms and seed, but Danthonia species 
appeared to regenerate from rootstocks of 
senescent tussocks; there were no seedlings 
of Danthonia species in burnt quadrats or 
visible tussocks in unburnt quadrats. 

One native and one exotic species were 
recorded from the burnt area that had not 


Research Reports 

previously been recorded from the reserve, 
*Linaria pelisseriana and Spergularia 
rubra. Both were uncommon to rare. 


Post-fire recovery of this long-grazed 7: 
triandra grassland followed the model of 
initial floristic composition rather than the 
classical or Clementsian model of relay 
floristics (Egler 1954), and in this sense it 
resembled that of most Australian forests 

(Purdie and Slatyer 1976; Noble and 
Slatyer 1981). However, in contrast to the 
abundant regeneration of seedlings that 
frequently occurs after intense forest fires 
(Purdie 1977; Ashton 1981; Christensen e¢ 
al. 1981), seedlings of native perennials 
were very rare. This is clearly demonstrated 
by a comparison of seedling regeneration 
with that recorded from dry sclerophyll 
forest (Purdie and Slatyer 1976) and heath 
and heathy woodlands (Wark ef a/. 1987). 

Table 1. The (back-transformed) mean number of individuals per square metre, with 95 percent 
confidence limits (95% CL), for plant species in burnt and unburnt, species-poor Themeda 



no plants recorded. Asterisks denote exotic species and (following means) level of statistical 

* 0.05) p-)-0:01, #* = 0,01.) p>:0,001, *** p ¢ 0.001. 
95% Cis 95% ron 
SPECIES mean lower upper mean lower upper 
Alcaena echinata 1.3 0.8 2.1 — 
Agrostis avenacea oat Ives) 7.9 _— 
“Aira cupaniana o45c 10 113; — 
*Briza maxima 7.8 2.0. 31.3 4.7 tes 16.7 
“Briza minor 16" ** 53 256 — 
*Bromus hordeaceus — 4,0* Pal 15.0 
*Cicendia quadrangularis 13 0.7 Deg = 
Convolvulus erubescens 2.0 1.0 3.9 iw) 0.8 2.6 
*Cyperus tenellus ey 0.8 15.0 
Danthonia spp! Det 1.0 4.8 — 
Deyeuxia quadriseta 1.4 0.6 aa8 — 
*Hypochoeris radicata 353 0.3 8.5 2.2 0.9 a 
Isolepis spp. 1.6 0.8 Jeo — 
Juncus bufonius Tot 1.5 41.4 — 
“Juncus capitatus 1.4 0.7 2.9 — 
*Lolium rigidum 1.4 0.7 3.0 
Oxalis perennans 1.6 0.8 | — 
Plantago gaudichaudii 4.3 1.1 16.6 les 0.8 2.6 
*Romulea rosea 606*** 461 799 23 10.3 49.5 
Schoenus apogon 19 0.9 4.3 — 
*Sonchus oleraceus iS 0.8 2.6 _ 
Stipa spp.’ lee 0.8 Li? -- 
Themeda triandra 
(seedlings)* SSiher 0.8 22.8 — 
*Vulpia bromoides 849" 391 1845 8.0 2.6 24.9 

. Danthonia spp. — 
. lsolepis spp. 

. Stipa spp. — mostly S. bigeniculata 


mostly D. caespitosa and D. setacea 
— mostly /. hookeriana and J, marginata 

Densities of seedlings of 7. triandra were underestimated (see text) 

Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

While six percent of native perennials from 
dry sclerophyll forest and 27 percent of 
those from heath and heathy woodlands 
were obligate seed regenerators, no grass- 
land perennials employed this strategy. 
Further, only 19 percent of native peren- 
nials in the grassland were observed to 
regenerate from seed compared with over 
60 percent of native perennials in forest, 
heath and heathy woodland environments. 
A previous study at Derrimut found that 
the soil seed bank was dominated by exotic 
species, and contained few individuals of 
few native species (Lunt 1990b). The seed 
bank of native species was assumed to have 
been depleted during 80 years of stock 
grazing, due to continual predation on 
flowers, seedlings and established plants. 
The post-fire plant densities recorded in 
this study correspond broadly with seed 
densities in the soil, although spatial 
variability prevents a detailed comparison. 
Except for Acaena echinata, Agrostis 
avenacea, Spergularia rubra and a Stipa 
species, all natives that regenerated after 
fire from seed were recorded previously 
from the seed bank. *Vulpia bromoides 
and *Romulea rosea were the most 
abundant species in the seed bank and 
post-fire regeneration, with an average of 
3199 viable seeds and 849 plants per m? of 
*l/ bromoides, and 1483 viable seeds and 
606 plants per m? of *R. rosea in species- 
poor Themeda grassland (Lunt 1990b). 
The paucity of seedling regeneration by 
native species after this autumn fire pro- 
bably reflects pre-fire land use (grazing) 
rather than the regenerative potentials of 
grassland species. The recent removal of 
stock grazing may perhaps permit con- 
solidation of the native seed bank and 
enhanced seedling regeneration (of re- 
maining species) after future fires. 

Implications for management 

The post-fire abundance of exotic 
species presents a critical problem for 
conservation management of long-grazed 
T. triandra grasslands, as any benefit 
bestowed by burning to the diversity of 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 

native species is offset by the dramatic 
promotion of exotics. In this instance, four 
species of exotics accounted for 97 percent 
of individuals after fire: *Vulpia bro- 
moides, *Romulea rosea, *Briza minor 
and *Aira cupaniana. The imposition of 
a three to five year burning regime, which 
is widely recommended to maintain the 
diversity of native species in 7. (riandra 
grasslands (e.g. Robertson 1985, Stuwe 
1986, McDougall 1987, 1989), will un- 
doubtedly maintain high densities of these 
exotics. Further, despite considerable 
debate on the impact on exotics of spring 
and autumn burning (see Robertson 1985, 
Stuwe 1986, McDougall 1987), any such 
differences appear minor in long-grazed 
grasslands. Robertson (1985) found that 
the post-fire densities of exotic annuals 
were similar after both spring and autumn 
burning at Gellibrand Hill. Propagules of 
exotic species are so abundant at Derrimut 
that differences in post-fire densities are 
perhaps inconsequential. 

It is worthy of note however that fire did 
not promote all exotic annual grasses: 
*Bromus hordeaceus decreased after 
burning at Derrimut, as occurred at Laver- 
ton North (McDougall 1989). 

Given this gross promotion of exotics by 
fire, it could be argued that too great an 
emphasis is presently placed on burning 
as the primary tool of vegetation manage- 
ment. If an aim of management is to 
promote natives at the expense of exotics, 
then more intricate techniques of vege- 
tation manipulation will have to be de- 
vised. The pertinent question for manage- 
ment of any invaded ecosystem then 
becomes not, “which of spring or autumn 
burning promotes the least exotics?”, but 
rather, “which combination of manipul- 
ative techniques promotes less exotics than 

Degraded, invaded and isolated vege- 
tation remnants should not be managed 
solely by burning; burning should be 
integrated with other methods of vege- 
tation control, such as weeding, poisoning 
and perhaps manipulated, seasonal graz- 
ing by native or introduced herbivores. The 


Research Reports 

role of fire in the management of invaded 
ecosystems may eventually prove similar 
to that in agricultural systems, where “fire 
plays its greatest part in weed control by 
improving the efficiency of other control 
methods” (Johnson and Purdie 1981). 


Special thanks to Cathy Molnar for 
helping to count thousands of seedlings; 
to Bob Parsons and Keith McDougall for 
comments on the manuscript; and to 
David Jones of the Department of Conser- 
vation, Forests and Lands for adminis- 
trative assistance throughout the project. 


Ashton, D.H. (1981). Tall open-forests. Jn Australian 
Vegetation. Ed. R.H. Groves, pp. 121-151. 
(Cambridge University Press: Cambridge). 

Cheal, D.C., Lau, J.A., Robinson, RW., Ellis, J.E. and 
Cameron, DG. (in press). Vegetation Survey and 
Sites of Botanical Significance in the Melbourne 
Area. (Department of Conservation, Forests and 
Lands Victoria: Melbourne). 

Christensen, P., Recher, H. and Hoare, J. (1981). 
Responses of open forests (dry sclerophyll forests) 
to fire regimes. J Fire and the Australian Biota. Eds 
A.M. Gill, R.H. Groves and I.R. Noble, pp. 367-393. 
(Australian Academy of Science: Canberra). 

Egler, FE. (1954). Vegetation science concepts. I. 
Initial floristic composition - a factor in old-field 
vegetation development. Vegetatio 4: 412-417. 

Forbes, S.J, and Ross, J.H. (1988). A Census of the 
Vascular Plants of Victoria. 2nd ed, (National 
Herbarium of Victoria: Melbourne). 

Gullan, P.K., Cheal, D.C, and Walsh, N.G. (1989), 
Victorian Rare or Threatened Vascular Plant 
Species, (Department of Conservation Forests and 
Lands: Melbourne). 

Johnson, RW. and Purdie, RW. (1981). The role of 
fire in the establishment and management of 
agricultural systems. Jn Fire and the Australian 
Biota. Eds A.M. Gill, R.H. Groves and IR. Noble, 
pp. 497-528. (Australian Academy of Science: 

Kirkpatrick, J.B. (1986). The viability of bush in cities 
—ten years of change in an urban grassy woodland. 
Aust. J. Bot. 34; 691-708. 

Lunt, I.D. (1990a). A floristic survey of the Derrimut 
Grassland Reserve, Melbourne, Victoria, Proc. R. 
Soc, Victoria, 102 (in press). 

Lunt, .D. (1990b). The soil seed bank of a long-grazed 
Themeda triandra grassland in Victoria. Proc. R. 
Soc. Victoria. 102 (in press). 

McDougall, K. (1987). Sites of Botanical Significance 
in the Western Region of Melbourne. (Melbourne 


Western Region Commission and Department of 
Conservation, Forests and Lands: Melbourne). 
McDougall, K.L. (1989). The Re-establishment of 

Themeda triandra (Kangaroo Grass): Implications 
for the Restoration of Grassland. Arthur Rylah 
Institute for Environmental Research Technical 
Report Series No. 89. (Department of Conservation, 

Forests and Lands: Melbourne). 

Mueller-Dombois, D. and Ellenberg, H. (1974). Aims 
and Methods of Vegetation Ecology. (John Wiley 
and Sons: New York). 

Noble, I.R. and Slatyer, R.O. (1981). Concepts and 
models of succession in vascular plant communities 
subject to recurrent fire. Ja Fire and the Australian 
Biota. Eds A.M. Gill, R.H. Groves and I.R. Noble, 
pp. 311-335, (Australian Academy of Science: 

Purdie, RW. (1977). Early stages of regeneration after 
burning in dry sclerophyll vegetation. II. 
Regeneration by seed germination, Aust. J. Bot. 25: 

Purdie, RW. and Slatyer, R.O. (1976). Vegetative 
succession after fire in sclerophyll woodland 
communities in south-eastern Australia. Aust. J. 
Ecol. 1: 223-236. 

Robertson, D. (1985). Interrelationships between 
Kangaroos, Fire and Vegetation Dynamics at 
Gellibrand Hill Park, Victoria. (Ph.D. Thesis, 
University of Melbourne: Melbourne). 

Rohlf, F.J. (1985). NT-SYS. Numerical Taxonomy 
System of Multivariate Statistical Programs. (State 
University of New York: New York). 

Scarlett, N.H. and Parsons, R.F. (1982). Rare plants 
of the Victorian plains. J Species at Risk: Research 
in Australia, Eds. R.H. Groves and W,D.L. Ride, pp. 
89-105, (Australian Academy of Science: Canberra), 

Sokal, R.R. and Rohlf, F.J. (1981). Biometry. 2nd ed, 
(W.H, Freeman and Co.: New York). 

Specht, R.L. (1981). Conservation of vegetation types. 
Jn Australian Vegetation. Ed R.H. Groves, pp. 
393-410, (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge). 

Stuwe, J. (1986). An Assessment of the Conservation 
Status of Native Grasslands on the Western Plains, 
Victoria and Sites of Botanical Significance. Arthur 
Rylah Institute for Environmental Research 
Technical Report Series No, 48. (Department of 
Conservation, Forests and Lands: Melbourne). 

Stuwe, J. and Parsons, R.F. (1977). Themeda australis 
grasslands on the Basalt Plains, Victoria: floristics 
and management effects, Aust. J Ecol. 2: 467-476, 

Wark, M.C., White, M.D., Robertson, D.J. and 
Marriott, P.H. (1987). Regeneration of heath and 
heath woodland in the north-eastern Otway Ranges 
following the wild-fire of February 1983. Proc. R. 
Soc. Viet, 99: 51-88. 

Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

Appendix 1. Post-fire regenerative strategies and the incidence of flowering in 1987 for all species 
recorded from the area burnt in April 1987, 

* = exotic'species 
V = vegetative regrowth 
S = seedling regeneration 
Acaena echinata VEs 
nervosus VF 
Asperula conferta VF 
Bothriochloa macra VF 
heterodonta VF 
citreus VFs 
anthemoides VF 
Carex inversa VF 
Chloris truncata VF 
polygaloides VF 
erubescens VFs 
chrysantha VF 
auriculata VF 
caespitosa VF 
duttoniana VF 
Danthonia setacea VF 
Desmodium varians VF 
quadriseta VF 
| Dianella revoluta VF 
Dichelachne crinita| VF 

Dichondra repens Vv 

Elymus scabrus VF 
Eryngium ovinum — VFs 

vesiculosum VF 

heterophylla VF 

apiculatum VFs 

rutidolepis VF 

*Holcus lanatus 2F 


gramineum VF 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 


F = 

Juncus subsecundus 
Minuria leptophylla 
Myriophyllum sp. 
Oxalis perennans 
Pimelea curviflora 
*Plantago lanceolata 
Poa sieberiana 
Podolepis jaceoides 
Ptilotus spathulatus 
*Romulea rosea 
Rumex dumosus 
*Salvia verbenaca 
Schoenus apogon 
Solenogyne dominit 
Stipa bigeniculata 
*Stipa neesiana 
Stipa rudis 
Stipa setacea 
Themeda triandra 
Tricoryne elatior 
Velleia paradoxa 
Vittadinia cuneata 
Wurmbea dioica 

vegetative regrowth with minor 
seedling regeneration 

= regenerative strategy uncertain 

flowered during spring-summer 1987 



All species regenerated from 

seed and flowered in 1987 

Agrostis avenacea 
*Aira cupaniana 
*Arctotheca calendula 
*Briza maxima 
*Briza minor 
*Bromus hordeaceus 
*Centaurium tenuiflorum 
*Cicendia filiformis 
*Cicendia quadrangularis 
*Cuscuta epithymum 
*Cyperus tenellus 
Isolepis marginata 
Juncus bufonius 
*Juncus capitatus 
*Linaria pelisseriana 
*Lolium rigidum 
*Parentucellia latifolia 
Sebaea ovata 
*Sonchus oleraceus 
Spergularia rubra 
*Trifolium angustifolium 
*Trifolium campestre 
*Trifolium dubium 
*Trifolium glomeratum 
*Trifolium striatum 
*Vulpia bromoides 
*Vulpia myuros forma 
Wahlenbergia gracilenta 


Research Reports 

Mammals of The Gurdies, Westernport Bay, 
a proposed Flora and Fauna Reserve 
Cc. G. Wilson* 


The MSGV recorded a total of 17 native 
and 2 introduced species of mammal in 5 
surveys of The Gurdies between 1972 and 
1987. A general description of the study 

area is presented, and the significance of 

the survey results are discussed, 


The Mammal Survey Group of Victoria 
Inc. (MSGY) is a voluntary organization 
with a main purpose of conducting surveys 
of the native land mammals of the State. 
The Gurdies, on the eastern shore of 
Westernport Bay, is in the Land Conser- 
vation Council (LCC) Melbourne Study 
Region (District 2), A list of mammals for 
the region, including early records of the 
MSGY, was published in 1973 (LCC 1973). 
More recently a locality list of mammals 
for the Westernport Region using a 5 
minute latitude by $5 minute longitude grid 
systern was published (Andrew ef al. 1984), 
although no additional surveys were 
undertaken in The Gurdies. The Gurdies 
urea was recommended as a Flora and 
Fauna Reserve by the LCC 13 years ago 
(LCC 1977) and recognized by Andrew et 
al. (1984) as a site of zoological 
significance. Its current legal status: is 
Unreserved Crown Land, however man- 
agement is being undertaken by the Dep- 
artment of Conservation and Enyiron- 
ment in anticipation of full legal status. 
This paper summarizes the species of 
mammals recorded by the MSGV in The 
Gurdies between 1972 and 1987. 

Description of the Study Area 
Located on the Bass Highway approxi- 
mately 12 km south-east of the intersection 

* Mammal Survey Group of Victoria Ine, 
oe 6 Alphington Street, bairfield, Victoria, 3078. 


with the South Gippsland Highway, the 
survey area (Fig. 1) is representative of 
some of the largest remaining areas of 
native vegetation on the eastern shore of 
Westernport Bay. Having rural residential 
boundaries, The Gurdies (206 ha) includes 
vacant Crown land which is timbered and 
scrub covered, apart from two gravel pits, 
the northern one being still in use. 

Vegetation consists of open forest, the 
general canopy level being at a height of 
10-15 m, and comprising mainly Messmate 
(Lucalyptus obliqua), and Narrow-leaved 
Peppermint (£. radiata). The understorey 
is sparse with a variety of wattles, chiefly 
Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon), and 
eucalypt saplings to a maximum height of 
about 10 m. Shrub vegetation includes 
Variable Sallow Wattle (Acacia mucron- 
ata), Hop Wattle (A. séricta), Prickly 
Moses (A. verticilata), Silver Banksia 
(Banksia marginatay, Showy Bossiaea 
(Bossiaea cinerea), Sweet Bursaria 
(Bursaria spinosa), Dogwood (Cassinia 
aculeata), Black She-oak (Casuarina lit- 
toralis), Scrub She-oak (C. paludosa), 
Prickly Tea-tree (Leplospermum juniper- 
inum), Heath Tea-tree (L. siyrsinoides), 
Spike Beard-heath (Leucopogon australis), 
Snowy Daisy-bush (Olearia lirata), and 
Prickly Geebung (Persoonia juniperina). 
Except for some dense heathy patches of 
vegetation, the shrub layer is generally 
sparse and ranges from about 2-4 m in 
height. Density of ground cover varies 
considerably throughout the study site and 
includes Austral Bracken (Pteridium 
esculentum), various sedges, grasses and 
leaf litter. Several fern species are associ- 
ated with wetter areas such as the creek 

Observations by the MSGY suggest that 
the area has occasionally been used as a 
source of firewood and fence posts. The 

Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

145° a5'EF 


Tho Gurdies. 


Fig. 1. Location map of The Gurdies indicating 
the study site surveyed (shown stippled). Map 
reference (AMG) 8021 - 749495. 

land scouring effects of mining, regular 
motorcycle and horseriding activities are 
also evident; during the last visit to the 
study area (1987), both of the latter re- 
creational activities were witnessed. 


Data was collected by surveys and 
chance encounters over the periods, 29-31 
January 1972, 11-12 September 1982, 28-30 
January 1984, 15-16 September 1984, and 
9-10 May 1987. 

Surveys consisted of trapping, spot- 
lighting on foot, and the observation of 
any incidental evidence. At each survey 
period the number of personnel and hence 
the number of traps set and hours spent 
spotlighting varied. 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 

Wire cage traps (36 x 20 x 15 em), baited 
with a mixture of rolled oats, peanut butter 
and honey, wrapped in medical gauze, were 
set each afternoon by 1700 h and collected 
the following morning by about 0800 h. 
Captured animals were released in the 
precise locality where they were caught. 

Spotlighting was undertaken after dusk 
using 12 v sealed beam spotlights and 
batteries. The number of spotlights carried 
in each party was no greater than two, 

Bat trapping was undertaken at every 
camp except the first (1972). These 
mammals were surveyed using two collaps- 
ible bat traps (Tidemann and Woodside 
1978) placed in potential bat flyways. 

Chance encounters included daylight 
records of specimens seen alive, those 
killed on the roads within one kilometre 
of the study site, and scats and diggings. 

The identification of all live specimens 
relied upon the experience of the observers. 
No rare species (for the area) was recorded 
unless identified by at least two observers 
or by someone familiar with the species, 
and no data were recorded unless identi- 
fication was beyond reasonable doubt. 
Scientific and common names used for 
mammals follow Walton (1988), except for 
Eptesicus darlingtoni (Kitchener ef al. 

Small Mammal Trapping 

A total of 91 individuals of 5 species 
were trapped in 737 trap-nights, giving an 
average trapping rate of 12.3% (Table 1). 
Brown Antechinus (Antechinus stuartii) 
and Bush Rat (Rattus fuscipes) were 
trapped in all periods while only one 
specimen each of Swamp Antechinus 
(Antechinus minimus) and Southern 
Brown Bandicoot (/soodon obesulus) was 
trapped, both in summer. 


A total of 214 individuals of 8 species 
were seen in a total of 56.5 spot-hours, 
giving an average spotlighting rate of 3.8 


Research Reports 

Table 1. Small mammal trapping results for The Gurdies (1972-1987). 

Species trapped: 

Antechinus stuartit (Brown Antechinus) 

Antechinus minimus (Swamp Antechinus) 
Tsoodon obesults (Southern Brown Bandicoot) 
(Bush Rat) 

(Swamp Rat) 

Rattus fuscipes 

Rattus lutreolus 

Number of individuals: 
N ap-nights: 
Trapping rate (%): 

ber of tr 

Survey Perio 
Jan Sep Jan Sep May Individuals 
1972 1982 1984 1984 1987 Trapped 
6 4 8 6 13 37 
i] 1 
1 1 
it 8 13 11 4 47 
1 4 5 
18 12 23 17 21 91 
161 115 246 96 119 737 
Laie 10.4 9.3 LT 17.6 12.3 

animals/spot-hour (Table 2). Common 
Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus pereg- 
rinus) comprised 90.6% of animals seen 
and Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus 
giganteus) 4.2%. 

Bat Trapping 

A total of 30 individuals of 4 species of 
bat were trapped in 9 trap-nights (Table 3). 
Little Forest Eptesicus (Epfesicus 
vulturnus) comprised 63% of bats caught 
and 73% of bats were trapped in summer. 

Daylight sightings and incidental evidence 
Evidence for an additional 3 species of 

Table 2. Spotlighting results for The Gurdies (1972-1987). 

mammal was collected (Table 4). European 
Rabbits (Oryctolagus cunniculus) were 
seen, a dead Common Brushtail Possum 
(Trichosurus vulpecula) was observed on 
a road, and diggings and scats of Common 
Wombat (Vombatus ursinus) were 
recorded. : 


A total of 17 native species of mammal, 
including one species of monotreme and 
4 species of bat, and 2 introduced species 
of mammal were recorded in the survey of 
The Gurdies. This represents 47% of 
the native mammal fauna (excluding 
marine mammals) found in the whole 

Survey Perio: 
Jan Sep Jan Sep May individuals 
1972 1982 1984 1984 1987 recorded 
Species recorded; 
Tachyglossus aculeatus (Short-beaked Echidna) 1 1 
Tsoodon obesulus (Southern Brown Bandicoot) 1 1 
Petaurus breviceps (Sugar Glider) 1 1 2 
Pseudocheirus peregrinus (Common Ringtail Possum) 13 A2 58 37 14 194 
Macropus giganteus (Eastern Grey Kangaroo) ve 3 1 2 1 9 
Wallabia bicolor (Swamp Wallaby) 1 1 2 1 5 
Phascolarctos cinereus (Koala) 1 1 
Vulpes vulpes (Fox) 1 1 
Number of individuals: 19 47 63 40 45 214 
Spot-hours: 13.5 10 15 73 10,7 56.5 
1.4 4.7 4,2 6.5 4.2 3.8 

Spotting rate (animals /spot-hour): 


Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

Table 3. Bat trapping results for The Gurdies (1982-1987). 

Survey Period 
Sep Jan Sep May Individuals 
1982 1984 1984 1987 Trapped 

Species trapped: 

Chalinolobus gouldii (Gould's Wattled Bat) 2 2, 
Eptesicus darlingtoni (Large Forest Eptesicus) ws 2 
Eptesicus vultumus (Little Forest Eptesicus) 14 ist 19 
Nyctophilus geoffroyi (Lesser Long-eared Bat) 6 1 7 
Number of individuals: (0) Ze 7 ] 30 
Number of bat trap-nights: 1 4 2 2 9 

Westernport Region since 1970. The region 
comprises a total of 3240 km?* which 
includes the Mornington Peninsula, the 
eastern edge of Westernport Bay, French 
Island, Phillip Island, and north to Gem- 
brook and Neerim South (Andrew et al. 
1984). The records of Swamp Antechinus 
and the 4 bat species, Little Forest Eptesi- 
cus, Large Forest Eptesicus (Epfesicus 
darlingtoni), Lesser Long-eared Bat (Nyc- 
tophilus geoffroyi; Fig. 2) and Gould’s 
Wattled Bat (Chalinolobus gouldii) are 
new records for the survey area, although 
they have all been recorded elsewhere in Fig. 2. Lesser Long-eared Bat Nyctophilus 
the region (Andrew et al. 1984). geoffroyi. Photo J. Olden. 

Table 4. Daylight sightings and incidental evidence of mammals in The Gurdies (1972-1987). 

Survey Period 


Jan Sep Jan Sep May individuals 

1972 1982 1984 1984 1987 sighted 
Species recorded: 
Tachyglossus aculeatus (Short-beaked Echidna) 1 1 2 
Antechinus stuartii (Brown Antechinus) 1 1 
Trichosurus vulpecula (Common Brushtail Possum) 1 1 
Macropus giganteus (Eastern Grey Kangaroo) 1 14 15 
Wallabia bicolor (Swamp Wallaby) 4 2 1 7 
Vulpes vulpes (Fox) 2 1 3 
Oryctolagus cuniculus (European Rabbit) 1 1 
Number of individuals: 8 1 6 15 10) 30 
Incidental evidence: 
Echidna diggings x x x 

x x 

Bandicoot diggings 

Sugar Glider calls 

Wombat diggings and scats 
Bat/s spotlit 

Rabbit seats x 

* Recorded in survey 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 55 

Research Reports 

The Southern Brown Bandicoot and the 
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) were only 
recorded in 1972, however diggings 
ascribed to bandicoot spp. were observed 
in 1982 and 1984. In the context of urban 
sprawl, Dixon (1966) and Seebeck (1977) 
have indicated that habitat destruction and 
predation pressures are factors which will 
continue to threaten populations of the 
Southern Brown Bandicoot in the West- 
ernport catchment. The lack of tree species 
commonly used as food may account for 
the Koalas low density (for details of Koala 
habitat and tree preferences, see Lee and 
Martin 1988). 

The record of a Swamp Antechinus 

(Fig. 3) represents the fourth, and possibly 
the most recent, record of the species in 
the Westernport catchment area since 
1970. The animal (adult, female) was 
captured at a trapping site in open forest 
having a dense heathy shrub layer of 
Prickly Tea-tree, Heath Tea-tree, Silver 
Banksia and Scrub She-oak. Ground cover 
at the trapping site was also dense. The 
Swamp Antechinus is considered endan- 
gered in Victoria because of its restricted 
(generally) coastal distribution coupled 
with the associated risk factors as indicated 
above for the Southern Brown Bandicoot 
(for details of habitat requirements of the 
Swamp Antechinus, see Wainer and Gib- 
son 1976). In contrast to the Swamp 
Antechinus, the Brown Antechinus, an- 
other of the insectivorous marsupials, is 
common and well dispersed throughout 
the study area. Unlike the Swamp 
Antechinus, the Brown Antechinus has a 
comparatively widespread distribution 
and inhabits widely differing vegetation 
types in south-eastern and eastern 
Australia (Wakefield and Warneke 1967; 
Hampton ef al. 1982). 
The Common Ringtail Possum was the 
most abundant and widespread species 
surveyed. Other arboreal species were 
rarely observed; only one road-killed 
specimen of the Common Brushtail 
Possum on the Bass Highway, outside the 
forested area, and 2 Sugar Gliders 
(Petaurus breviceps) were sighted. 


Fig. 3. Swamp Antechinus Antechinus minimus. 
Photo J. Olden, 

Of the macropods, 2 species, the Eastern 
Grey Kangaroo and the Swamp Wallaby 
(Wallabia bicolor) are well represented; 
within the study area there is cover for 
refuge and shelter during the day, an 
important habitat requirement (Caughley 
1964; Edwards and Ealey 1975). 

The Bush Rat, a native rodent, is com- 
monly dispersed throughout the study 
area. Less commonly trapped, the native 
Swamp Rat (Raftus /utreolus) has a 
distribution localised centrally within the 
forest and only where dense ground cover 
occurs. The introduced rodents, House 
Mouse (Mus musculus) and Black Rat 
(Rattus rattus) were not captured during 
the survey, although House Mouse has 
been recorded in the area and Black Rat 
nearby (Andrew et al. 1984). 

Using similar methodology, overall 
average small mammal trapping and spot- 
lighting success rates for all study areas of 
Victoria surveyed by the MSGV between 
1972 and 1987 are 12.6% and 1.8 animals/ 
spot-hour, respectively (J. Poynton, MSGV 
Records Officer). A comparison indicates 
The Gurdies had a similar average small 
mammal trapping success rate (12.3%), 
and a higher than average spotlighting 
success rate (3.8 animals/spot-hour). 

The MSGV survey of The Gurdies 
indicates that the area contains a 
significant proportion of the native 
mammal fauna of the Westernport Re- 
gion. Nevertheless, The Gurdies is small 
in area and has a current legal status as 

Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

Unreserved Crown Land, so its long-term 
future is not assured. Government enact- 
ment of the 13-year old recommendation 
of the LCC, to create a Flora and Fauna 
Reserve, should aid its long-term conserv- 
ation in terms of habitat and species 
protection. The data presented in this 
paper would be useful in the planning of 
an appropriate management strategy for 
the Flora and Fauna Reserve. 


Data presented in this paper was 
collected by members of the MSGV be- 
tween 1972 and 1987. The author wishes 
to acknowledge Mr. J. Barnett for com- 
ments on the manuscript. Mr. J. Olden 
kindly provided the two photographs. 
Protected species of mammals were hand- 
led under the provisions of permits issued 
by the Fisheries and Wildlife Division of 
the Department of Conservation, Forests 
and Lands. Equipment used in the survey 
and part maintenance costs were provided 
by grants from the M.A. Ingram Trust. 


Andrew, D.L., Lumsden, L.F. and Dixon, J.F. (1984), 
Sites of Zoological Significance in the Westernport 
Region. (Dept. Conserv. For. and Lands: 
Melbourne). Environ. Stud. Publ. No, 327. 

Caughley, G.J. (1964). Density and dispersion of two 
species of kangaroo in relation to habitat. Aust. J. 
Zool., 12: 238-49, 

Dixon, J.M. (1966). Bandicoots — Partial survival in 
times of possible extinction. Vict. Res., 8: 62-3, 
Edwards, G.P. and Ealey, E.H.M., (1975). Aspects of 
the ecology of the Swamp Wallaby, Wallabia bicolor 
(Marsupialia: Macropodidae). Aust. Mammal, 1: 


Hampton, JW.F., Howard, A.E., Poynton, J. and 
Barnett, J.L. (1982). Records of the Mammal Survey 
Group of Victoria, 1966-80, on the distribution of 
terrestrial mammals in Victoria. Aust. Wildl. Res., 
9: 177-201. 

Kitchener, D.J., Jones, B. and Caputi, N. (1987). 
Revision of Australian Eptesicus (Microchiroptera: 
Vespertilionidae), Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 13: 

Land Conservation Council (1973), Report on the 
Melbourne Study Area. (Govt. Printer: Melbourne). 

Land Conservation Council (1977). Final Recom- 
mendations for the Melbourne Study Area. (Govt. 
Printer: Melbourne). 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 

Lee, A. and Martin, R. (1988). The Koala, a Natural 
History, pp. 25-33. (New South Wales Uni: 

Seebeck, J.H. (1977). Mammals in the Melbourne 
metropolitan area Victorian Nat., 94: 165-70, 

Tidemann, C.R. and Woodside, D.P. (1978), A 
collapsible bat-trap and a comparison of results 
obtained with the trap and mist nets. Aust, Wildl. 
Res., 5: 355-62. 

Wainer, JW. and Gibson, R.J. (1976). Habitat of the 
Swamp Antechinus in Victoria. Distribution and 
habitat requirements of the mainland Swamp 
Antechinus, Anlechinus minimus maritimus 
(Finlayson) (Marsupialia: Dasyuridae). Victorian 
Nat., 93; 253-5. 

Wakefield, N.A. and Warneke, R.M. (1967). Some 
revision in Anfechinus (Marsupialia) — 2. Victorian 
Nat., 84: 69-99, 

Walton, DW. (Ed) (1988). Zoological Catalogue of 
Australia. Vol. 5. Mammalia, Bureau of Fauna and 
Flora. (Aust. Govt. Pub. Service: Canberra). 



The pond hunters dream 
D. E. McInnes 

The pond hunter is that odd person who 
may be seen occasionally, dipping with his 
pond net into a lake or pond and trans- 
ferring the contents into jars which he then 
takes home. Here he eagerly pours the 
water into shallow dishes, places them 
under the microscope and looking through 
the microscope hopes that he will see some 
of those wonderful pond creatures that are 
so well illustrated in the books on pond 

Every pond collection always has some 
form of pond life to be seen, you never 
come home empty handed. Sometimes 
only a few things other times quite a few 
and that great occasion when you see 
something you have never seen before. 

Pond hunters in their rambles always 
have that dream of the pond that has all 
the interesting forms of life they read about 
but never come across in their samples of 
pond life. 

Well last November | came across the 
Dream Pond close to home, it was the lake 
in the lovely Hedgely Dene Gardens in 
East Malvern. 

My equipment to take a sample could 
not be simpler. It consisted of two plastic 
(“Muesli”) bags, one inside the other to 
make sure they don’t leak, a couple of 
thick rubber bands (I pick up the ones the 
postman throws onto the footpath) and an 
old bootmaker’s knife to cut roots. 

At the lake I go to the spot where an old 
Willow tree grows near the bank. Here the 
willow roots can be seen growing out from 
the bank under the water level, the roots 
make an ideal place for all sorts of pond 
life that live attached. 

First I fill up the plastic bag with pond 
water and place it upright so it does not 
spill (not so easy), the water is a bright 
green colour, full of microscopic plants, 
to the creatures living in the pond it is like 
living in a world of vegetable soup. All you 


have to do is open your mouth and swal- 
low. What a life of luxury. 

Next job is to cut with the boot makers 
knife the end pieces of willow root about 
25 cm in length, cut some from different 
places and fill up the plastic bag, secure 
the top of the bag with the rubber bands. 
When home, empty the bag into a shallow 
container, a 4 litre icecream container is 

To view the pond life I use large and 
small petri dishes, these can be made by 
cutting rings of plastic downipipe that is 
45 mm and 90 mm in diameter, the rings 
being 10 mm and 20 mm wide. Stick the 
rings to squares of glass (2.0 mm thick or 
less) with Selleyes window and glass cem- 
ent. A hint, clean the glass with detergent 
then polish with ‘Bon Ami’. 

The method to examine the material is 
to first look at the attached forms then 
look at the free swimming forms, so cut 
several pieces of the roots about 6 cm long 
and place them in a large petri dish with 
water covering them, (do not have parts 
sticking out of the water) and examine 
under a low power stereo microscope or 
under the lowest power of the ordinary 
microscope (15 X or 20 X). Look at all the 
pieces of weed or root. Use top lighting 
and dark ground lighting, I use both 

When you see an interesting part that 
needs higher power, cut off a small section 
20-30 mm long and transfer to a small petri 
dish with just enough water to cover the 
root, examine with 100 X after checking 
the object is in the field with the lower 
power. Use darkground lighting to show 
up the colour then bright field lighting to 
see most detail. 

Now to see the free swimmers. Beside 
the animal free swimmers most of the 
algae are active swimmers as well and like 
human beings they all like to be in the 

Continued on page 59 

Victorian Nat. 

The Victorian 

Index to 
Volume 106, 1989 

Compiled by K.N. Bell 

Australian Natural History Medal 

Donations, 167 
Medallist, B. Fuhrer, 260 


Annable, T.J., 42 

Bennet, W.M., 162 

Bennett, S. and Mansergh, I., 243 

Braby, M.F., 79, 118 

Browne, J.H., 236 

Calder, D.M., 59 (book review) 

Cavanagh, A.K., 140 

Cheal, D., 258 (book review) 

Clarke, LC., 155 

Coupar, 1.M. and Coupar, P.S., 26 

Coupar, P.S. and Coupar, I.M., 26 

Craig, S.A., Lumsden, L.F., Linden- 
mayer, D.B. and Smith, A.P., 174 

Crosby, D.F. and Dunn, K.L., 184 

Dixon, J.M., 194 

Dixon, J.M, and Huxley, L., 4 

Dunn, K.L. and Crosby, D.F., 184 

Earl, G. and Lunt, I., 205 

Editors, 69, 116 

Fuhrer, B. and May, T., 133 

Goldstraw, P. and Suckling, G.C., 179 

Happold, D.C.D., 40 

Harlow, P., Shine, R., Shine C. and 
Ross, G., 138 

Hawkeswood, T.J., 93 

Houghton, S., 260 

Hutchinson, M., 96 

Huxley, L. and Dixon, J.M., 4 

Laidlaw, W.S. and Wilson, B.A., 224 

Lillywhite, P.K., Van Praagh, D.D. and 
Yen, A.L., 197 

Lindenmayer, D.B., Smith, A.P., Craig, 
S.A. and Lumsden, L.F., 174 

Lumsden, L.F., Lindenmayer, D.B., 
Smith, A.P. and Craig, S.A., 174 

Lunt, |. and Earl, G., 205 

McCulloch, E.M., 28 

McInnes, D.E., 86 

McKelvey, MW., Overton, B.M. and 
Overton, D.S., 30 

Mansergh, I., and Bennett, S., 243 

May, S.J., 107 

May, T., 48 

May, T. and Fuhrer, B., 133 

Menkhorst, PW., 30 (book review) 

Millar, B., 98 

Overton, B.M., Overton, D.S. and 
McKelvey, M.W., 30 
Overton, D.S., Overton, B.M. and 

McKelvey, M.W., 30 

Paras, G.C., 40 (letter) 

Pemberton, D. and Skira, I.J., 202 

Ross, G., Shine, C., Shine, R. and Har- 
low, P., 138 

Shine, C., Shine, R., Harlow, P. and 
Ross, G. 138 

Shine, R., Harlow, R., Ross, G. and 
Shine, C., 138 

Skira, I.J. and Pemberton, D., 202 

Smith, A.P., Craig, S.A., Lumsden, L.F. 
and Lindenmayer, D.B., 174 

Suckling, G.C. and Goldstraw, P., 179 

Turner, E.K., 208 (excursion), 252 

Twentyman, J.D., 117 (letter) 

Van Praagh, D.D., Lillywhite, P.K. and 
Yen, A.L., 197 

Wallis, R.L., 76, 172 (letter) 

Weatherhead, H., 103 

Webb, G.A., 148 

Williams, J.E., 43 

Wilson, B.A. and Laidlaw, W.S., 224 

Yen, A.L., Van Praagh, D.D. and 
Lillywhite, P.K., 197 

Book Reviews 

Bats of South Aust., A Guide (T.B. 
Reaedon and S.C, Flavel), 29 

Native Orchids of Aust. (D.L. Jones), 59 

Terrestrial Reptiles of Aust., A Guide (S. 
Wilson and D. Knowles), 96 

Wildflowers of ‘The Millewa’, A Guide 
(M. Kelly), 258 


Asterolasia phebalioides, 30 

Banksia, Biology & Ecology: Recent 
Literature, 140 

Botany in service of Medicine, 252 

Eastern Underground Orchid, new 
locality, 43 

Mallee vegetation, an overview. (Meet- 
ing Report), 103 

Micromyrtus ciliata, insects as potential 
pollinators, 148 

Rhizanthella Slateri, Eastern Under- 
ground Orchid, 43 

Snow Gum, ecotone dynamics of, 45 

Victorian Endemic on King Island, 30 


Canberra and Mt. Kosciusko, 208 

Fungal Excursions, 1986-88, 48 

Grasses at Laverton & in Long Forest 
Mallee, 104 

Mt. Kosciusko and Canberra, 208 


Approved Research Institute status, 70 
Auditors Report, 63 
Bylaws, 262 
Club News, 33, 69, 109, 163 
Council Report, 62 
Group annual reports 
Botany, 106 
Day, 107 
Fauna survey, 159 
Geology, 108 
Library, 106 
Microscopical, 108 
Meeting Reports, 32, 109, 212 


Fungi after fires: 1. Gerronema postii, 

Gerronema postii, after fires, 133 


Butterfly fauna, LaTrobe University, 188 

Euproctis baliolalis, skin irritation 
from, 26 

Fungus feeding beetles, host records for, 

Insects, potential pollinators of Micro- 
myrtus ciliata, 148 

Ocybadistes walkeri sothis, distribution 
& range extension, 184 

Skin irritation from Tussock Moth, 26 


Gippsland Giant Worm, 197 

Megascolides australis, further inform- 
ation on, 197 

Stalked jellyfish at Black Rock, 86 

Terrestrial molluscs, Sunraysia area, 236 


Ada tree, 103, 117 
Platypus in Melbourne, 40 


Elephant Seals, Tasmania, 202 

Gymnobelideus leadbeateri, distribu- 
tion in Central Highlands, 174 

Leadbeater’s Possum, distribution in 
Central Highlands, 174 

Mammals, small, Angahook-Lorne S.P., 
distribution & habitat, 224 

Mammals, Lysterfield-Cardinia Res., 76 

Mastacomys fuscus, faecal pellets in 
field surveys, 41 

Petaurus breviceps, Tower Hill, 179 

Spotted Dolphin, first Vict. record, 194 

Stenella attenuata, first Vict. record, 194 

Sugar Glider, establishment at Tower 
Hill, 179 

Thomson, D.F., Mammals of Vict., 
notes and collection on, 4 


Australia Day Honours, 69 

Bryological workshop, 105 

Ecological Survey Repts, C., F. and L., 

Editorial Policy, 116, 215 

Flora and Fauna Guarantee, 152 

‘Greenhouse’ and Wildlife Manage- 
ment, 243 

Guidelines for Authors, 166 

Microscope donation, 163 

Roadside reserves, 162 

Sites of Zoological significance, 172 

V.ET. (very fast train), 98 

von Mueller, Correspondence of, 31 


Bland, R.M., 242 
Sonenberg, E.J., 155 
Wheeler, W.R., 28 

Places and Localities 

Angahooke-Lorne S.P., small mammals 
in, 224 

Black Rock, Stalked jellyfish at, 86 

Canberra and Mt. Kosciusko, excursion, 


Cardinia Res. - Lysterfield, mammals, 

Central Highlands, Leadbeater’s Pos- 
sum in, 174 

Kangaroo Island, Vict. endemic on, 30 

Kinglake N.P., reptiles of, 79 

Lalrobe University, butterfly fauna, 118 

Laverton, grasses at, 104 

Long Forest Mallee, grasses at, 104 

Lysterfield - Cardinia Res., mammals 
of, 76 

Mt. Kosciusko and Canberra excursion, 

Sunraysia area, terrestrial molluscs, 236 

Tasmania, Elephant Seals, 202 

Tower Hill, Sugar Glider establishment, 

Litoria caerulea, high body temper- 
atures, 138 

Reptiles of Kinglake N.P., 79 



Fig.1. Opercularia (top) and Zoothamnium 
(bottom). Reprod. from Kent (1882). 

limelight. Taking a good sample of the 
pond water in the large dish place it under 
the stereo or low power microscope and 
it will be noticed that all will tend to swim 
to the centre bright field. Take a pipette 
and suck up the concentrated sample and 
transfer it to a small petri dish. Examine 
the sample with 100 X, first with dark 
ground lighting then with the bright field. 

After those hints on methods let us look 
at some of the willow roots. Even with the 
naked eye many of the roots seem to be 
covered with fine hairs but under the 
microscope the growth is seen to be a mass 
of fine branching stems, at the end of each 
stem is a “head” like half of a cigar with 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 

a partly opened “lid” at the wide end. The 
“lid” has a ring of cilia beating furiously 
and causing a current of water to bring 
particles of food to the mouth below the 
“lid”. This is indeed an animal, one of the 
single celled animals, the only movement 
is a quick bending of the “head” when 

The “lid” is similar to the operculum of 
the periwinkle and the name Opercularia 
Fig. 1 is given to the genus. A point of 
interest, after a short period all the 
“heads” will leave the stems and swim 
away, and just a mass of stems is left 

On other roots more groups are seen but 
this time there is only a single stem to each 
“head” which is bell shaped with the ring 
of cilia around the bell mouth. Of course 
they were called “Bell Animalcules’’, now 
the genus is Vorticella. At the slightest 
touch the stem will contract like a spiral 
spring, there is a muscular strand down the 
centre of the stem that causes the 
retraction, then slowly the stem stretches 
out again and the cilia again start their 

Here and there among the roots there 
is what seems to be a large bunch of Vor- 
ticellaon a single stem rather like a bunch 
of flowers, then all of a sudden the whole 
bunch shrinks to a tiny ball and the stem 
also contracts. What is it? It is called Zoo- 
thamnium Fig. 1 (Animal Bush). The 
“heads” are similar to the Vorticella and 
have the muscle strand in the stems but it 
also continues down the main stem so all 
the “heads” are drawn into a ball and the 
main stem into a short spiral. 

Along the root there is a trumpet shape 
attached to the root by the narrow end and 
at the wide end the edge is lined with cilia. 
Yes you have guessed right, it is the “Trum- 
pet Animalcule” or Stentor Polymorphus 
Fig. 2 (many forms) because sometimes it 
may build a gelatinous tube around itself 
and at other times may be seen somewhat 
shortened actively swimming around. In 
most cases the cilia ring will propel its 
owner through the water unless attached 
to something. 



Fig.2. Stentor. Reprod. from Kent (1882). 

Looking around we find many little 
brown tubes attached to the roots and out 
of the tubes pops a little head. Checking 
under the higher power the head appears 
to be two little wheels and careful examin- 
ation shows here we have one of the 
“Wheel Animalcules” or Rotifers. These 
creatures are the favourites of the pond life 
hunters with their variety of shapes and 
ways of living. They all have a ring or 
corona of cilia which may be irregular or 
with one ring, two ring, four ring and in 
one case without cilia. One other common 
feature is the jaws or “mastax”, these are 
rather strange. Hold your fists closed and 
together at the wrists. Open and close your 
clenched fists at the wrists, this gives the 
crushing appearance of one type of mas- 
tax. Now open your fingers half way and 
open and close your hands at the wrist and 
this shows how the mastax is used for 
grasping and chewing. The tube of this 
rotifer is made of rings (faintly) and is 
untidy, sometimes there are other tubes 
growing from the side. The corona has two 
lobes like a figure eight, the long body 


inside the tube is attached to the root. The 
name of this rotifer is Limnias Fig. 3. 

Careful hunting finds another brown 
tube but a neater one this time, a closer 
look shows we have a prize, a rotifer called 
the “Little Brickmaker”’, its name is F/os- 
cularia Fig. 3 (in the old books it was 
Melicerta). The corona has four lobes two 
larger than the others, the rotifer is very 
touchy and retreats into the tube at the 
slightest movement, the cilia causes par- 
ticles to run right around the corona and 
into the mouth to be mashed up by the 
jaws of the mastax. The rotifer spearates 
the unedible particles, mixes them up into 
a tight ball and deposits the balls like 
bricks in neat lines to form the wall of its 

Fig.3. Limnias (left) Reprod. from Ward and 
Whipple (1963) and Floscularia (right) Reprod, 
from Carpenter (1901). 

Victorian Nat. 


Fig.4. Collotheca, Reprod. from Carpenter 

The next Rotifer is quite different, it is 
set in a clear gelatinous tube attached to 
the root, as it emerges from the tube five 
lobes start to expand but instead of cilia 
many very fine rays extend out until they 
are in straight lines in all directions from 
the lobes. Small protozoans and motile 
algae coming in contact with the rays move 
toward the centre and the mouth where 
they are gulped down and passed to the 
mastax to be chewed up. 

There are two varieties, one has broad 
lobes but the other has long narrow lobes. 
The rotifer is named Collotheca Fig. 4 (to 
add to the confusion it used to be Flos- 
cularia) and is quite colourful when seen 
with darkground lighting, one or two oval 
eggs may be seen alongside the body inside 
the gelatinous tube. Collotheca is a prize 
exhibit when shown at a Microscopical 
Meeting on rare occasions, but here there 
were hundreds, on one root 5 cm long | 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 

counted 42 and actually had 12 in the field 
of the microscope at one time. What a 
pond hunters dream. 

Quite easy to see and very different were 
Hydras which have six tentacles that are 
lined with stinging cells similar to jellyfish 
to which they are related. Any little water 
flea bumping the tentacles is stung and the 
tentacles push the flea to the mouth in the 
centre, the mouth opens wide to swallow 
the meal. At the side of the Hydra a bud 
develops into a new hydra complete with 
its own tentacles, 

Growing along a stem is a nearly trans- 
parent tube, at regular intervals there are 
protrusions like a narrow volcano. When 
all is still, out from the volcanoes comes 
a mass of tentacles, these spread out and 
it is seen that they are attached to a “U” 
shaped base, the tentacles are lined with 
cilia which beat in unison to cause a river 
of water to flow through the forest of 

Any suitable food particles are guided 
to the mouth in the centre of the “U” base, 
particles not suitable for food are let 
through the tentacles and if large objects 
arrive one or more of the tentacles will 
bend out of the way and let them flow 
away. This spectacular creature is quite a 
find and it is one of the fresh-water bry- 
ozoa and the name is Plumatella Fig. 5. 
The food is passed to the stomach through 
a short intestine and out through an open- 
ing at the back of the base of the “U”. 

At the bottom of the intestine a fine tube 
branches off and here develops an oval egg 
which grows a central oval of dark brown 
with a lighter brown oval around it. The 
eggs are statoblasts and develop for Winter 
and Summer. 

Looking along some roots with a higher 
power there is a finger shaped form with 
a narrow stem joining it to the root, all 
around the top of the finger are rays point- 
ing out in every direction and at the lower 
end of the finger there are two bunches of 
rays. Each ray has a tiny knob at the end 
of it. In fact it all looks like a fancy pin 
cushion. There is no movement. How does 
it live? Well any small single celled 



Vip.5. Plumatella (top) Reprod. from Ward and 
Whipple (1918) and Podophrya (bottom) 
Reprod. trom Hollowday (1946). 

creature coming in contact with the “pin- 
heads” becomes stuck and the “pinhead” 
penetrates the wall of the victim and then 
like a vampire all the internal juices are 
sucked out along the rays. The animal is 
one of the Suctoria a sub class of the 
Ciliates, this specimen has no hard lorica 
and is named Podophrya Fig. 5 (old book) 
asmaller specimen with a hard lorica and 
two bunches of rays was from the genus 

So far all the interesting creatures seen 
have been attached to the roots so if we 
had just dipped in the pond net for sam- 
ples we would have missed the prize ex- 
hibits just described, so now let us look 
at the free swimmers. 

Quickly swimming across the field 

under the mircoscope are a variety of 

shapes, all attracted to the field of light. 
Most obvious is one like a large clear 
plastic bag with a ring of cilia driving it 
around, inside can be seen all the internal 


organs including the jaws (mastax) of a 
rotifer, so it is the rotifer Asplanchna Fig. 
6 which is quite carnivorous and will swal- 
low other small rotifers or water fleas. 
Sometimes a young Asplanchna can be 
seen developing inside the rotifer until it 
is nearly half the size of the mother then 
it is expelled and both go on their way. 

Some of the rotifers have a hard shell 
or lorica and one we see is round in shape 
with various spines at the front and back 
ends, the ciliary ring brings food and 
allows the rotifer to swim about, From the 
rear end extends a foot like an elephants 
trunk, lined and pliable with a couple of 
toes at the end to hold on. Sometimes this 
rolifer Brachionus Fig. 7 can be seen 
swimming but anchored by a thread extru- 
ded from the toes and attached to a 
surface. Very often one or two eggs will be 
seen attached to the base of the foot, as 
these are hatched externally. 

Another form is a blunt ended cigar 
with the cilia ring at the blunt end which 
has a few sharp spikes and extending back 
are three spines more than twice as long 
as the body. This is Filinia Fig. 7 (used to 
be Triarthra) and while swimming around 
slowly the spines will jerk down suddenly 
and move the rotifer away from any 
trouble. | 

Fig.6. Asplanchna. Reprod from Hollowday 

Victorian Nat. 





is, Al} 





\ i\ 

Fig.7. Brachionus (top left), Filinia (top right) Polyartha (bottom left). Reprod. from Hollowday 
(1946a) and Keratella (bottom right) Reprod. from Hollowday (1946b). 

Now you see it and now you don’t is the 
feature that identifies another tiny rotifer 
like a wide oblong in shape with a number 
of short paddle like spines, the name is 
Polyarthra Fig. 7 (many joints). It will be 
seen slowly swimming along by means of 
the cilia ring then it disappears and you 
will find it in another part of the field. The 
paddle like spines jerk the rotifer away so 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 

quickly that the eye cannot follow it. 
One more small rotifer seen was Kera- 
tella Fig. 7 with a lorica of many plates. 
The front end has a number of curved 
sharp spines but at the rear there is a large 
pair of “cow horns” sometimes a large and 
a small “cow horn” and at other times just 

one “cow horn’. 



Always crowding into the field of the 
microscope were very tiny reddish spheres 
propelled along by a long flagellum, they 
have a red “eye spot” and always seek to 
be in the light where they remain station- 
ary. Gradually the whole field is filled up 
with them, if you shifted the petri dish to 
a clear part they would again move and fill 
up the field. They are one of the algae 
called Trachelomonas which is related to 
the Euglena, a torpedo shaped green algae 
also with a red “eye spot” and flagellum. 
The Euglena can change its shape to a 
sphere or back to a torpedo and often does 
so, it is also a light seeker and swims 

The most prominent algae in the green 
water of the pond was Dictyosphaerium 
(net sphere), minute green balls consisting 
of even smaller spheres in groups of four 
borne on stalks. Here and there were bright 
Desmids, one like a crescent moon Clos- 
terium, another in the shape of a cross 

Like a green dust in the water and need- 
ing magnification of 400 to identify were 
the algae Scenedesmus, Ankistrodesmus 
and Selenastrum with an odd Pediastrum. 
Now and again a graceful square raft of 
sixteen green cells of Gonium would swim 
by, propelled by their delicate but vigorous 

Last but certainly not least in interest 
was a small translucent sphere like a dense 
mass of bubbles, the outer layer a little less 
dense than an inner circle. Fine rays extend 
out from all parts of the sphere, the rays 
are pliable and are covered with proto- 
plasm that streams up and down to the 
body. This is Actinosphaerium Fig. 8 one 
of the Heliozoa. A small protozoan touch- 
ing the rays becomes caught and is carried 
down with the layer of protoplasm to the 
body which engulfs the protozoan. Even 
a large organism can be caught and the 
body will rise up towards and absorb it, 
similar to the action of an amoeba. The 
Actinosphaerium is like an amoeba with 
rays. It makes a splendid exhibit under the 


Fig.8. from 

Carpenter (1901). 


Other odds and ends could be men- 
tioned but this is enough to show that this 
pond was indeed the ‘pond hunters dream’. 
Back in 1856 P.H. Gosse in his book 
“Tenby” wrote wonderful descriptions of 
living creatures seen under the microscope 
and today they are still to be seen if you 
look below the surface of that ordinary 
looking old pond or lake in your own park. 


Carpenter, W.B. (1901). The microscope and its 
revelations. (J.A. Churchill). 

Hollowday, E. (1946a). Introduction to the study of 
Rotifera. The Microscope and the Entomological 
Monthly. 6(3). 

Hollowday, E. (1946b). Introduction to the study of 
Rotifera. The Microscope and the Entomological 
Monthly. 6 (4). 

Hollowday, E. (1947), Introduction to the study of 
Rotifera. The Microscope and the Entomological 
Monthly. 6(9). 

Kent, W.S, (1882). A manual of the Infusoria. (D. 
Bogue Publishers, London). 

Ward, H.B, and Whipple, G.C. (1918). Freshwater 
Biology (John Wiley and Sons, New York). 

Ward, H.B. and Whipple, G.C. (1963). Freshwater 
Biology 2nd Edition. (John Wiley and Sons, New 

Victorian Nat. 


Report by Council 

The members of the Council submit herewith the 

Balance Sheet as at 31 December 1989, and the 

Statement of Income and Expenditure for the year 

ended on that date, and report as follows: 

1. The names of the members of the Executive 
Council in office at the date of this report are as 

Mr. G. Love 

Mr. J. Grusovin 

Mr, B, Abbott 

Dr. J. Douglas 

Mrs. S. Houghton 

Miss M. Allender 

Miss R. Watson 

Mr. M. McBain 

Mr. T. Offor 

Mr. N. Mefarlane 

Dr. A. Parkin 

Mr. G. Gillespie 

. The principal activities and objects of the Club 

are to stimulate interest in natural history and to 
preserve and protect Australian fauna and flora, 
No significant change in the nature of those 
activities occurred during that period. 

3. The net deficit of the Club for the year ended 31 
December 1989 was $9,681.00 (1988) surplus 
$697.00) in the General Account. In addition, 
surpluses were earned in the following Funds: 

Building Fund 
Excursion Fund 
Publications Fund 
Special Funds 

4. The Club is prohibited from paying a dividend by 
its Memorandum and Articles of Association; 
consequently no dividend is recommended and no 
dividends have been paid. 

5. The review of operations for the year: 

The Club’s groups met regularly throughout the 
year. The Botany, Day, Geology and Mammal 
Survey Groups arranged day trips and extended 
excursions. The Australian Natural History 
Medallion was administered and awarded to Mr. 
Bruce Fuhrer. 

6. No significant changes in the state of affairs of 
the Club occurred during the financial year ended 
31 December 1989. 

7. No matters or circumstances have arisen since the 
end of the financial year which significantly 
affected or may significantly affect the operations 
of the Club, the results of those operations, or the 
state of affairs of the Club in financial years 
subsequent to the financial year ended 31 
December 1989, 

8. The likely developments in the operations of the 
Club and the expected results of those operations 
in financial years subsequent to the financial year 
ended 31 December 1989 are unlikely to have any 
significant effect on the financial results in future 


Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 



Information of Members of the Council: 
Graeme Love ~ President 
Occupation — Public Servant 
Council Member since 1985 
Julian Grusovin ~ Secretary 
Occupation — Laboratory Technician 
Council Member since 1987 
Bruce Abbott — Treasurer 
Occupation ~ Public Servant 
Council Member since 1989 
Jack Douglas ~- Member of Council 
Occupation — Geologist 
Council Member since 1986 
Sheila Houghton ~ Member of Council 
Occupation — Retired 
Council Member since 1981 
Marie Allender — Member of Council 
Occupation — Retired 
Council Member since 1956 
Robyn Watson ~ Member of Council 
Occupation — Botanist 
Council Member since 1989 
Michael McBain ~ Member of Council 
Occupation ~ Company Director 
Council Member since 1987 
Tim Offer — Member of Council 
Occupation — Botanist 
Council Member since 1989 
Neil Mefarlane - Member of Council 
Occupation — Consultant 
Council Member since 1989 
Alan Parkin ~ Member of Council 
Occupation ~ University Lecturer 
Council Member since 1989 
Graeme Gillespie — Member of Council 
Occupation - Zoologist 
Council Member since 1989 
Since the end of the previous financial year no 
member of the Council has received or become 
entitled to receive any benefit by reason of a 
contract made by the Club with him or with a firm 
of which he is a member or with a company in 
which he has substantial financial interest. 

SIGNED at MELBOURNE this 30th day of April 
1990 in accordance with a resolution of the Council. 

G. Love, President 
B. Abbott, Treasurer 



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“sassy Pax Jo aes uo WjOld 

Seah Frente. pate 3dooso19 11] 
“*sajesg yOog uO 1JO1d 
Boy tee ond Pe ae awioouy Aipuns 

“pina uoTepaW Aloisi [eINIeN 
* puny drysiaquiay] ast] 
pases dy genset TATA eT usodaq 
ae aati cke Magara AoeBa] IOXTePM WO - spuog 
‘AoeSaq 1s WW - Spuog 
““spuog yi]eaMuOWUOD 
qunossy yueg 

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paalavay S349} U] 

oink sles oNSAEAS Roe nny 9 ea edres geben Hi peieb mean y Seimiet = 5= s]uawastaApy 

Rk ara ea TS Ceca JsI[BININ] UPIIOISIA,, JO sayes 



pe mereye dasa hap Hk PeeR SH apts eos xe yuanind 

SEAT Jeveceeeeeertneneeeeeesrssesereeseeeeeteeeees SIBOTIW 
paataday suondiuosqns 



Victorian Nat. 



In the 
1. (a) 




opinion of the members of the Council: 

The accompanying Income & Expenditure 
Account is drawn up so as to give a true and 
fair view of the results of the company for the 
financial year ended 31 December 1989, 

The accompanying Balance Sheet is drawn up 
SO as fo give a true and fair view of the state 
of affairs of the company as at the end of the 
financial year. 

At the date of this statement, there are 
reasonable grounds to believe that the company 
will be able to pay its debts as and when they 
fall due. 

2. The accompanying Accounts have been made out 
in accordance with Australian Accounting Stand 
ards and applicable approved accounting standards. 

This statement is made in accordance with a resolution 

of the Members of Council. 

SIGNED at MELBOURNE this 30th day of April 

G. Love, President 
B. Abbott, Treasurer 


Notes 1989 1988 
Current Assets 
(OTe Oe ak ie SS a ere I te dat Ae ee 5 27;288 33,976 
Receivable 6 : 13 
MRIPRIICOTIOS races take cece ee cee ce hiss up behead Aden OG Un LAE Ty aaind aoe dare Rae AgR Eo ake OETA SLY 7 1 206 
Total Current As: 35,395 
Non-Current Assets : : 
Iifejor late Ah vatan: 1 Tah cea Mhivel-tetaa ey prey eos EEPEOEE Ber ore Cee CR TeEEE MT LOCUS ONE PELE CC reese 8 9,541 . S41 
PRN OSU USO tal et treats oT t tak rravd atte Caer sie tewerev gad evita herd heh ia it Cee ha AT 9 156,430 
Total Non-Current Assets 22 2 165,971 
Total Assets 257,897 201,366 
Current Liabilities 
ATECItOTS ANC BOLYOWINGS vines issuer's uss ddaet nn Gepey eet ag ts bed enees Aa yeeateyl kites 10 32,294 (18,499 
, QU 
Total Liabilities 32,294 _ 18,499 
Net As 225,603 182,867 

Shareholders’ Equity 

Share Capital 
at eee te te glu lite OT Tapp ean EEete npr PEP Ee her opree ge nes ney nec etre 

Total S 

hareholders’ Equity 

ia 225,603 182,867 

225,603 182,867 

The accompanying notes form part of these financial statements. 


107 No. 2 (1990) 






Statement of Accounting Policies 

The accounts have been prepared in accordance with the accounting standards issued by the Australian 
accounting bodies and with the disclosure requirements of the Companies (Victoria) Code, Schedule 7 
as in operation on 30th September 1987. The accounts have also been prepared on the basis of historical 
costs and do not take into account changing money values or, except where stated, current valuations of 
non-current assets. The accounting policies have been consistently applied, unless otherwise stated. 

The following is a summary of the significant accounting policies adopted by the Club in the preparation 

of the accounts: 


) Investments 
Investments are valued either at cost less amounts written off for permanent diminution in the value 
of investments or, at directors’ valuation. Dividends and interest are brought to account when received. 

(b) Fixed Assets 





Fixed assets are valued at cost or valuation. No provision has been made for depreciation of the Library 
as in the opinion of the Council its value greatly exceeds the value shown in the books of account. 
Income Tax 

The Club is not liable to pay income tax. 


Inventories are valued at the lower of cost and net realisable value. 

Club Improvement Account 

Profit on sale of books is capitalised to the club improvement account to reflect realised capital profit. 

1989 1988 

perating profit has been determined after: 

(a) Charging as Expense — 

Depreciation of plant & Equipment — a 
Rental expense on operating leases 1,443 1,210 

(b) Crediting as Income - 


Interest received from other persons — 2,920 

Profit on sale of non-current assets — _— 
) Recognising Operating Revenue - 

Membership subscriptions 16,051 16,699 

Interest 22,041 16,748 

Proceeds on disposal of non-current assets _ 2,770 

Remuneration of Councillors 

No remuneration was received by the councillors from the Club 
for the year ended 31 December 1989 a = 

Auditors’ Remuneration 


mount received or due and receivable by the auditors for: 
Auditing the Accounts 300 265 
Other Services — — 

Cash at Bank 8,245 13,779 

Cash at Bank - Bicentennial Grant 19,043 10,197 
Australian Savings Bonds at cost — 


Sundry debtors _ 213 

Victorian Nat. 


7. Inventories 

Badges and sundries 85 85 
Books for sale 297 331 
Victorian Naturalist Subject Index 765 790 

1,147 1,206 

8. Property, Plant & Equipment 
Freehold property - 
Kinglake (gift of Harold C. Frahm) = = 
Maryborough, Cosslick Reserve, at cost Pik) 213 

Library, furniture & equipment 
At cost 95328 9,328 
Less accumulated depreciation — —_ 

9,541 9,541 
9. Investments 
General Fund 

Australian Savings Bonds at cost — 8,300 
Esanda Ltd. - Debentures at cost 8,600 8,000 
ANZ Savings Bank - Deposit 6,055 5,472 
ANZ Term Deposit 20,352 — 
Bank of Melbourne - Deposit 4,321 2,443 

Building Fund 

Australian Savings Bonds at cost 900 3,100 
Esanda Ltd. - Debentures at cost 4,700 5,900 
ANZ Banking Group Ltd. - Cash at Bank 4,723 3,591 
ANZ Term Deposit 36,446 — 
Bank of Melbourne — Deposit 2,172 Daa 

Publications Fund 

Australian Savings Bonds at cost 9,100 45,380 
Esanda Ltd. - Debentures at cost 2,500 5,000 
Telecom - Bonds at cost _— 1,500 
ANZ Savings Bank - Deposit 11,956 10,804 
ANZ Banking Group Ltd. 17,549 12,248 
ANZ Term Deposit 46,067 — 
Book Stocks at cost 5,841 6,084 
Bank of Melbourne - Deposit 5,158 6,916 

Excursion Fund 

Australian Savings Bonds at cost — 1,000 
ANZ Savings Bank - Deposit 11,981 10,826 
ANZ Term Deposit 1,221 — 
Cash at Bank 26,949 29,052 
Sundry Creditors (6,670) (11,959) 

33,481 28,919 

TOTAL INVESTMENTS 219,921 156,430 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 69 




Creditors and Borrowings 

Subscriptions received in advance 
Sundry creditors 

M.A. Ingram Trost Grant in hand 
lrensury Grants in hand 
Bicentennial Grant in hand 

Accumulated Funds 

General Fund 
Halance | January 
Transfer to D, Melnnes Hund 
Net Surplus (Deficit) for year 

BALANCE at 41 December 1989 

Specific Funds 

Ruilding Punds 
Halance atl January 
Net Surplus for year 

BALANCE at V1 December 1989 

Publications Bund 
Halanee at 1} danuary 
Net Surplus for year 

BALANCE at Jt December 1989 

Baxcursion Fund 
Halance at 1 January 
Net Surplus for year 

BALANCE at UE December 1989 

Club Improvement Account 
Halanee att January 
Net Surplus for year 

BALANCE al dE December 1989 

Kinglake Project Fund 
Halance at 1} January 
Net Surplus for year 

BALANCE at M1 December 1989 

Sundry Bequests & Legacies 
Halanee at | January 
Net Surplus (Deficit) for year 

HALANCE at i December 1989 






AK 941 


























Victorian Nat. 





Funds from Operations (Note 1) 
Inflows of funds from operations 
Less outflows of funds from operations 

Reduction in Assets 
Current Assets 

Non-Current Assets 
Proceeds on disposal of non-current assets 

Increase in Liabilities 
Creditors and borrowings 
Increase in Fund Balance - M. Lester Legacy 

Increase in Assets 
Current Assets 

Other Assets 

NOTE 1: 
Funds from Operations 
Less - Interest and other items credited direct to Special Funds 
Add - Profit on disposal of non-current assets 
Add - Increase in D. McInnes Fund 


Balance of Fund at 31 December 1988 
Interest on investments and bank account 
Balance of Fund at 31 December 1989 
Balance of Fund at 31 December 1988 
Interest on investments and bank account 
Surplus for the year from - 
Fossil Book 

Balance of Fund at 31 December 1989 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 










Balance of Account at 31 December 1988 
Book sales account profit 

Balance of Account at 31 December 1989 

Balance of Fund at 31 December 1988 
Interest on investments and bank account 
Surplus on tours 
Less: Transfer to Kinglake Project 
Transfer to Library Fund 

Balance of Fund at 31 December 1989 

14,909 13,888 
758 1,021 

15,667 14,909 

28,919 25,442 

3,881 3,389 
2,646 88 
530 = 
(2,345) = 
(150) s 

33,481 28,919 



Current Assets 
Cash at Bank 
Cash at Bank - Bicentennial Grant 
Australian Savings Bonds at Cost 
Accounts Receivable 

Stocks on Hand at Cost 
Badges & Sundries 
Books for Sale 
Victorian Naturalist Subject Index 

Fixed Assets at Cost 
Library Furniture & Equipment 
Land — Cosstick Reserve, Maryborough 

Investment of Funds at Cost 
Australian Savings Bonds 
Esanda Ltd. Debentures 
ANZ Term Deposit 
ANZ Savings Bank - Deposit 
Bank of Melbourne - Deposit 

Building Fund 
Australian Savings Bonds at cost 
Esanda Ltd. Debentures at cost 
Bank of Melbourne — Deposit 
ANZ Term Deposit 
Cash at Bank 


1989 1988 
$ $ 

8,245 13°7-79 
19,043 10,197 

— 10,000 
— 213 
85 85 
297 331 
765 790 

9,328 9,328 
213 213 
9,541 9,541 
= 8,300 
8,600 8,000 
20,352 a 
6,055 5,472 

Victorian Nat. 


Publications Fund 

Australian Savings Bonds at cost 9,100 45,380 
Esanda Ltd. — Debentures at cost 2,500 5,000 
Bank of Melbourne — Deposit 5,158 6,916 
Telecom - Bonds at cost — 1,500 
ANZ Savings Bank — Deposit 11,956 10,804 
ANZ Term Deposit 46,067 — 
Book Stocks at cost 5,841 6,084 
Cash at Bank 17,549 12,248 

98,171 87,932 

Excursion Fund 

Australian Savings Bonds at cost — 1,000 
ANZ Savings Bank 11,981 10,826 
ANZ Term Deposit Py227 _ 
Cash at Bank 26,949 29,052 
Sundry Creditors (6,670) (11,959) 

33,481 28,919 
257,897 201,366 


We report that we have audited the accounts of the FIELD NATURALIST CLUB 
OF VICTORIA in accordance with Australian Auditing Standards. 

In our opinion the accompanying accounts, being the Balance Sheet, Statement of 
Income and Expenditure, Notes to Accounts, Statement of Source and Application 
of Funds and Statement by Members of the Council, are properly drawn up in 
accordance with the provisions of the Companies (Victoria) Code 1981 and so as to 
give a true and fair view of:- 

(i) the state of affairs of the company at 31 December, 1989 and of the results of 
the club for the year ended on that date; and 

(ii) that other matters required by Section 269 of that Code to be dealt with in the 

and are in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards and applicable approved 
accounting standards. 

Certified Practising Accountants March 1990 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 73 





(70 PAGES, 10 PLATES): Price $20 

This full colour geological map features a sequence of Cambrian igneous and 
sedimentary rocks which formed in a "mid-ocean ridge" environment. They 
are approximately 550 million years old and as such are amongst the oldest 
rocks exposed in Victoria. The notes describe the surface and subsurface 
geology as well as the area’s mineral and groundwater potential. ‘The 
geological history is described and an excursion guide is included. 

(83 pages, 34 diagrams & photos): Price $20 

Full colour map and accompanying explanatory notes describing surface and 
below surface sedimentary and volcanic rocks. It includes an enlargement, 
description and the eruption history of Tower Hill Volcano, which at 20,000 
years old is amongst the youngest and best preserved volcanoes in Victoria. 
A comprehensive summary of the geological history of the area from 110 
million years ago to the present is given. Comments are made on the 
economic importance of various stone resources and units which contain 
groundwater and oil and gas potential. 


Full colour map with insets showing simplified geology with mine shaft 
locations and positions of deep leads. 

Price $7.50 

Full colour map showing the Palaeozoic stratotectonic units in Victoria 
with the main structural features superimposed. This is the first time 
such features have been published on a map at this scale allowing a 
statewide overview to be readily gained. 

The map gives a broad overview of bedrock structural trends in Victoria 
useful for teaching, research and display purposes. The features are 
colour coded reflecting the association of various features with certain 
time periods or tectonic events. 

VICTORIA’s GOLD PROVINCES (1:1 000 000): Price $7.50 

This full colour map for general display or teaching purposes shows the 
main gold provinces with summary text on gold in Victoria. 


Sales & Publication centre 
Department of Industry, Technology & Resources 

5th Floor 
115 Victoria Parade 

Phone (03) 412 8000 

Victorian Nat. 


Metropolitan Country 

Rosalind Moore and Jeremy Patricia Murphy, Ballarat. 
Price, Doncaster. Jeanette Tyers, Rhyll. 

Dean Haywood and Alison Ian Dowling, McCrae. 
Haywood, Northcote. Susan Taylor, Yarram. 

Jennifer Gassin and Robert 
Gassin, Knoxfield. Retired 

Barry and Margaret Dowling, J.M. McCoy, Boronia. 

Dr. Richard Williams and Dr. 
Bronwyn Myers, East St. Kilda. 
Shirley Shannor, Hampton. 
Jan Pfeiffer, Greensborough. 
Graeme Challis, Melbourne. 
Val Define, South Caulfield. 
Anne Casey, West Brunswick. 
Ruth Akie, Canterbury. 
Monique Planter, Eltham. 
Jean Moy, Kew. 
Malcolm Warren, Blairgowrie. 
Peter Himing, Epping. 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

In which is incorporated the Microscopical Society of Victoria 
Established 1880 
Registered Office: FNCV, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra, 3141. 

OBJECTS: To stimulate interest in natural history and to preserve 
and protect Australian fauna and flora. 
Members include beginners as well as experienced naturalists. 

His Excellency, The Rev Dr John Davis McCaughey, The Governor of Victoria. 

Key Office-Bearers 1989-1990 
Vice President: Mr. ARTHUR FARNSWORTH, FNCY, National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, 
South Yarra, 3141. 
Hon. Secretary; Mr. JULIAN GRUSOVIN, | Warriner Court, East Oakleigh, 3166. (543 8627 A.H.) 
Hon. Treasurer: Mr. BRUCE ABBOTT, 4/597 Orrong Road, Armadale, 3143. (529 4301 A.H.) 

Subscription-Secretary; Ms DIANNE CHAMBERS, FNCY, ¢/ National Herbarium, Birdwood 
Avenue, South Yarra, 3141 (387 5146). 

Editors: ROBY N WATSON and TIM OFFOR, FNCYV, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, 
South Yarra, 3141 (419 3532). 

Librarian: Mrs, SHEILA HOUGHTON, FNCYV, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, South 
Yarra, 3141 (551 2708) 

Acting Excursion Secretary; DOROTHY MAHLER (850 9379 A.H.). 
Club Reporter: Vacant, 

Conservation Co-ordinator: Mr. WIL. ASHBURNER, National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, 
South Yarra, 3141, 

Sales Officer (Books): Vacant. 

Sales Officer (Victorian Naturalist only): Mr. D. E. McINNES, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 
3145 (S41 2427) 

Programme Secretary: Vacant. 

Publicity Officer: Miss Margaret Potter, 1/249 Highfield Road, Burwood, 3125. (889 2779), 

Group Secretaries 
Botany: Miss MARGARET POTTER, 1/249 Highfield Road, Burwood, 3125 (889 2779), 
Day Group: Mr. D. &. McINNES, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 3145 (541 2427) 
Geology: Miss HELEN BARTOSZEWICZ, 16 Euroa Avenue, Nth. Sunshine, 3020 (311 5106 A.H.) 

Fauna Survey: Mr. JULIAN GRUSOVIN, | Warriner Court, East Oakleigh, 3166. (542 2396 B.H. 
and 543 8627 A.T1.) 

Microscopical: Mrs. ELSIE GRAHAM, 147 Broadway, Reservoir, 3073 (469 2509) 

Membership of the E.N.CY. is open to any person interested in natural history. The Victorian 
Naturalist is distributed free to all members, the club's reference and lending library is available 

and other activities are indicated in reports set out in the several preceding pages of this magazine. 
Subscription rates for 1988 
Metropolitan Members (03 area code) $25.00 
Joint Metropolitan Members $27.00 
Gountry/Interstate/Retired Members $23.00 
Joint Country/Interstate/Retired Members $25.00 
Student (full-time) $18.00 
Junior (under 18; no Victorian Naturalist) $5.00 
Subscription to Victorian Naturalist . $23.00 
Overseas Subscription to Victorian Naturalist $30.00 
Affiliated Clubs $25.00 
Subscriber Clubs ' $23.00 
Individual Journals $3.50 
Late Fee (Renewing Members), after end of March $2.00 




a ea j Py eee 
eV) Ln Uti UALg 
te, ¢ 

3 - AUG 1990 

June 1990 


Published by The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 
since 1884 


General Meetings 
Held on the second monday of the month (except for public holidays), 8.00 p.m. 
at the National Herbarium, corner of Birdwood Avenue and Dallas Brooks Drive, South 
Yarra. Meetings include a talk by a guest speaker. All members of the public are welcome. 
Monday 13th August Monday 10th September 
Marine life of Heron Reef. To be announced. 
Mrs. Julie Marshall 

FNCV Excursions 
Special notice: some excursions will be held on Saturdays since public transport is 

more frequent than on Sundays. For details of excursions contact Dorothy Mahler (Ph. 
850 9379 after 6.00 p.m.). 

Sunday 5th August Sunday 2nd September 
Blackburn Lake. Meet at Blackburn The 100 Acres, Park Orchards. Meeting 
Station at 10.30 a.m. Catch 10.03 a.m. 10.30 a.m., Melways: 35 F9. Train trav- 
train at Flinders Street Station. ellers: Train leaves Flinders St. Station 

9.23 a.m. Dorothy Mahler will pick up 
travellers from Ringwood Station. 
Please ring Dorothy on 850 9379 (H) 
or 265 2399 (W) if you are travelling by 
train to organise pick up. 

Group Activities 
Fauna Survey Group 
Meetings (First Tuesday in the month) 
Tuesday 7th August 
Botany Group 
Group Meetings (Second Thursday) 

Thursday 9th August Thursday 13th September 
From Dalhousie to Western Queens- Victoria’s Rainforests. David Cameron. 
land. Margaret Corrick. 
Saturday 28th July Saturday 25th August 
Mosses. Warburton area. Leader Cranbourne annexe of the Royal 
Arthur Thies, Botanic Gardens. Leader to be arranged. 

Geology Group 
Group Meetings (First Wednesday) 
Wednesday 8th August 
Microscopical Group 
Group Meetings (Third Wednesday) 

Wednesday 15th August Wednesday 19th September 
Polarised light and the microscope. Cet slides. Members to make and 

Hawthorn Juniors 
Group Meetings (Last Friday) 
Friday 27th July Contacts: Gerard Marantelli 497 2281 
Alpine Wildlife. Peter Kelleher 337 6405 

Friday 31st August 
To be arranged. 


The editors apologise for the lateness of the April and June issues of The 
Victorian Naturalist. Times have been lean both for completed articles and 
assistance with production. We believe that we have remedied the situation. The 
August issue is in production and will be out on time. 

Registered by Australia Post, Publication No. V.B.P. 1268 

+ a 


“3 - AUG 1990 




Volume 107 (3) 

June, 1990 

Editors: Tim Offor and Robyn Watson. 

Research Reports 


Naturalist Notes 



ISSN 0042-5184 

Notes on fruit condition, germinability and seedling morphology 
of Olearia pannosa Hook. (Velvet Daisy-bush) by M. J. Bartley.... 
Cliff instability on the Victorian coast by Eric Bird ..........00....0005 

Lepilaena cylindrocarpa and L. marina at Swan Bay, Victoria 
Dy ase SLL OTHET St eavanede doce 4 he PEA easiae ean sue ule by ae nwaetey emt aenet 

Bush-peas of Victoria - genus Pultenaea Sm. (Fabaceae) no. 24. 
A key to Pultenaea species in Victoria and an index to previous 
ATLICLES EDV wiVie Gs SOOTTIGN a <A she vet Oh arts deed Gee arent = erate k ceva gear 

Communal roosting in the Bell Miner Manoria melanophrys, 
Meliphazidae tay AtdOsPOldiI 2 iis sick iieneeiat ee nechus epee tan eerae ets oz bk 
A note of Budgerigars in Hamilton by PR. Bird .........0..000c0ccee 
A trip to Nooramunga with the Fauna Survey Group 

DY JOG LLEGHY aug taxes gue sent epeee eek ards tet Reet ee om beactnels » Nepdetleny rare 

Tape Review. Calls of Victorian frogs by Murray Littlejohn and 
Duncan Smith. Reviewed by Graeme Coulson ..........scceceeseeeeeeees 

FNCYV Library Report 1989-90 ...........cccccseeeeeeeeesreeereneeeeestereees 


Cover photo: London Bridge has fallen down. See Eric Bird’s explanation 

on page 86. Photo: Eric Bird. 

Research Reports 

Notes on fruit condition, germinability and seedling 
morphology of Olearia pannosa Hook. (Velvet Daisy-bush) 
M. J. Bartley* 


Olearia pannosa Hook. (Family Aster- 
aceae) is rare in Victoria and listed as 
“vulnerable” — at risk of becoming extinct 
in the long term if further depleted or if 
threatening processes continue — by Scar- 
lett (1984) and Gullan, Cheal and Walsh 
(in prep.). Wisniewski, Scarlett and Par- 
sons (1987) listed for Victoria a total of 12 
extant stands and four sites from which the 
species had previously been recorded but 
may now be extinct! They noted that 
several stands are threatened by browsing 
by mammals, erosion, roadworks and/or 
rubbish dumping. 

Despite recording numerous sucker- 
shoots from decumbent stems of mature 
plants, Wisniewski ef a/. (1987) found only 
occasional seedlings. Furthermore, they 
found that at most only 3% of fruits 
contained developed, apparently viable 
seeds and that fruit damage due to insect 
predation was common. A trial of the few 
available developed fruits suggested that 
time to first germination was more than 
halved when seeds were imbibed free of the 
fruit wall, though the final proportion of 
germinants was similar to that for fruits 
inbibed whole. This suggests some tem- 
porary inhibition of germination by the 
fruit wall. 

The aims of the present work were to 
assess fruit condition from three new 
collections, to further investigate germ- 
ination and to describe the morphology 
and growth of seedlings. 

* Department of Botany, La ‘Trobe University, 
Bundoora, Victoria 3083, Australia. 

. Wisniewski ef af. (1987) referred these plants to 
Olearia sp. aft. pannosa Hook., but N.S. Lander 
(PERTH) has since confirmed that they belong to 
the Type form of O. pannosa Hook. (pers. comm. 
to R.F. Parsons), so the affinity status has not been 
retained here. 


Two of the new fruit collections were by 
Mr. Frank Lawrence from a population‘on 
private property near Point Addis, 
Victoria, and the third by the present 
author from Site [2 of Wisniewski er al. 
(1987), also near Point Addis. Each col- 
lection was assumed to represent fruits 
derived solely from the preceding flower- 
ing period. The fruiting period extends 
from December to May (Wisniewski et al., 

Fruit condition 

Assessment of fruit condition was made 
using the three categories specified by 
Wisniewski er a/. (1987): (i) fruit unex- 
panded or empty, (ii) partially or com- 
pletely damaged by predation and (ili) 
filled fruits with developed and apparently 
viable seed. 

Results of the assessment of fruits from 
the new collections, plus those of one 
comparable collection from Site [2 report- 
ed by Wisniewski e¢ a/. (1987), are given 
in Table 1. 

The 1070 fruits collected on 15 February 
1988 came from 20 heads, with a mean of 
53.5 fruits per head, a standard deviation 
of 15.3 and an acceptably Normal 
distribution. Number of heads per plant 
was assessed in the same population for 
a sample of 54 large plants (defined by 
Wisniewski et al. (1987) to be plants greater 
than 30 cm in height and having four or 
more shoots). The number varied from 
zero to 28 with a distribution very skewed 
towards fewer heads. The mean was 2.1 
heads (plus 0.3 buds) per large plant, 
though it is probable that this figure would 
vary annually and between populations, 
because more prolific flowering has been 
seen in the past. 

The collections by F. Lawrence on pri- 
vate property represent Two fruit crops 

Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

Table 1. Condition of Olearia pannosa fruits. 

Total Proportion of fruits (%) 
. Date number Unexpanded Partly eaten 
Site collected examined or empty by insects Filled 
Lawrence 3 May 1987 1260 23.0 69.5 id: 
Lawrence 6 Dec 1987 881 19.0 72.5 8,5 
12 19 Mar 1987 291 89.7 7.6 278 
12 15 Feb 1988 1070 70,0 27.9 2.1 

* Data from Wisniewski e¢ a/. (1987), used with permission. 

from the same population, the first near 
the end of one fruiting period (May) and 
the second early in the next (December). 
There was no apparent difference in size 
or shape of the mature fruits, though a 
roseate tint to the basal third of the pappus 
was more evident in the December Fruits. 

Analysis of a contingency table using 
the three fruit condition categories and the 
four collections listed in Table 1 showed 
that fruit condition was not independent 
of collection (X3=1679, p<( 0.001 for 6 
degrees of freedom in the contingency 
table). Lawrence’s two collections were 
not significantly different at the 5% level 
(X3=5.29, 0.05<¢p¢0.10), but the two 
collections from Site 12 were (X3=52.3, 
p<0.001). These results imply that fruit 
condition may vary between populations 
and within a population from year to year. 

Fruit damage 

The principal cause of fruit damage 
appears to be a beetle, Corticaria sp. 
(Family Lathridiidae). Individuals were 
found in all of twenty heads examined 
from Site 12, both between and inside 
fruits. Species in this genus are noted for 
consuming moulds and other fungi often 
associated with stored food products (C. 
McPhee, pers. comm.). The Olearia heads 
commonly had spider webs between the 
fruits and occasionally fungal hyphae 
were present. Spores of the common sap- 
rophytic fungus, Alternaria sp. (Class 
Hyphomycetes, Family Dematiaceae) 
were prolific in scrapings from fruit walls 
in all fruit conditions. These would most 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 

likely germinate after fruits had fallen, but 
also in heads wet from rain or dew. 

The fruit wall scrapings contained mites 
which may also eat the fungal mycelia 
(P.J. Keane, pers. comm.). Spiders may 
opportunistically prey on either or both 
the mites and beetles. 

The beetles also appear to be attracted 
to eat rotting infertile ovules or shrivelled 
seed tissue in the undeveloped fruits, 
rather than healthy, developing tissue. 
Very few filled fruits showed significant 
insect damage and some collections with 
high overall levels of damage also had 
relatively high numbers of filled, 
undamaged fruits. Thus predation may 
not be a primary factor in the low seed- 
set, except where damage is widespread at 
an early stage and affects seed develop- 
ment (Fig. 1). 

The data for Lawrence’s population 
suggest that damage can be as high near 
the beginning of the fruiting period as near 
the end. Attack appears to begin before 
fruits ripen and the severe damage to some 
small, poorly developed heads from the 
12 population (Fig. 1) suggests that attack 
may even occur early in flowering. Bur- 
rowing into the receptacle was evident in 
25% of the heads sampled and would 
certainly impair development of some of 
the fruits (Fig. 1). In general, mature filled 
fruits were not confined to any particular 
zone of the disc. 

Beetle faecal deposits and possibly also 
secretions combine with the spider webs 
and fungal hyphae to bind the fruits to- 
gether in the heads, thereby securing both 
shelter and a food source. Binding occurs 


Research Reports 

Fig. 1, Inscet-damaged, poorly developed heads of Olearia pannosa, showing (a) insect- 
burrowed receptacle and (b) damage to fruits and receptacle (longitudinally halved head). 

B-involucral bract, P — pappus, R 

in at least one other composite, Microseris 
scapivera (Sol. ex Cunn.) Schultz-Bip., and 
species with long achenes may be most 
susceptible (N.H. Scarlett, pers. comm.,). 


Possible obstructions to germination 
which might account for the variation in 
time to germination observed by Wis- 
niewski ef al. (1987) include blocking, by 
the fruit wall of light to the embryo and/or 
chemical inhibition by substances leaching 
from the fruit wall during imbibition. 

Filled fruits from the 3 May 1987 col- 
lection were used to screen the effects on 
germination of the following treatments: 
A. whole fruits in light; B. fruits with wall 
removed but placed in liquid contact with 
the seeds, darkness; C. seeds only, light; 
D. seeds only, darkness. Equivalent sam- 
ples of thirty fruits or seeds were used per 

The fruits or seeds were surface-steril- 
ized (2% sodium hypochlorite with a 
wetting agent for 0.5 hr then rinsed with 
sterile distilled water) and placed on sterile 
moist seed test paper in Petri dishes (10 

receptacle and $ 

hollow scape. Scale bar is 5 mm. 

fruits or seeds per dish) in a growth cab- 
inet. Light and temperatire were cycled (12 
hr of 250 pE m®? sec! PAR at 18°C 
alternating with 12 hr of darkness at 
15°C). Dishes in treatments B and D were 
placed under black cloth and examined for 
germinants using a dim green (non phyto- 
chrome-stimulating) lamp. One dose of 
“Karathane” (Rentokil Pty. Ltd.) was 
applied after one week to kill germinated 
fungal spores on the fruit walls. 

The 20 to 26 days taken for the first 
germinants to appear (Fig. 2) is similar to 
that reported by Wisniewski ef al. (1987) 
for seeds removed from their fruit walls. 
However, there was no delay in germina- 
tion of whole fruits and neither light nor 
the presence of the fruit wall appeared to 
affect the subsequent rate of germination. 

The final germination scores for the 
treatments were A: 73%, B: 83%; C: 83% 
and D: 90%, which were not significantly 
different at the 5% level (Xi=7.11, 
0.05 ¢p (0.10). 


Germinants from the trial were planted 
into a coarse sandy loam, individually in 

Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 




Total number of germinants 

0 20 30 

40 50 60 

Days from imbibition 

Fig. 2. Rates of germination of Olearia pannosa seeds for four treatments, A-D (see text). 

7.5 cm diameter pots, and grown in a 
glasshouse and subsequently a shade- 
house between September 1987 and Janu- 
ary 1988. Growth was slow and the shoot 
axes were only 0.5-2.0 cm long after 2 
months. By four months the majority of 
seedlings had developed axillary shoots 
from the first or second leaf axils and the 
primary apices were 1.5-3.5 cm tall. Older 
seedlings (ca. 10 months, from a different 
seed source) had thick stem bases, but also 
little stem length in their first season. 
The expanded cotyledons were thick, 
convex, oblong to elliptic (0.5-1.0 cm long 
by 0.2-0.4 cm wide) and glabrous. Early 
leaves (Fig. 3) were round to oblong, up 
to 1.9 cm long, petiolate, tomentose below 
and sparsely hairy above. Leaves mostly 
appeared adult in form by the sixth or 
seventh leaf, though smaller (about 3.5 cm 
long by 2.5 cm wide) and often with spar- 
sely and minutely toothed margins (Fig. 
4). Teeth were not evident on young leaves 
of older plants and this difference may 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 

Fig. 3. Two month old seedling of Olearia 
pannosa showing cotyledons (C), early petiolate 
leaves (E) and development of axillary shoots 
(A). Scale bar is 10 mm. 


Research Reports 

serve to distinguish seedlings from small 
sucker-shoots in the field. 

Wisniewski e/ a/. (1987) noted the pre- 
sence of tuberous roots. These structures 
appeared quite early (from about two 
months), high on the root axis. By four 
months they were various lengths, but 
most had no attendant fine root systems 
(Fig. 4). 

The observed slow shoot growth is 
unlikely to have been a result of lack of 
nutrients in the potting mixture used. Two 
other perennial daisy species from the 
region have shown considerably more 
rapid growth under the same conditions. 
The nutrient status of the Point Addis soils 
is likely to be lower than that of the potting 
mixture, though no assays have been 

Fig. 4. Four month old seedling of Olearia 
pannosa showing fine marginal teeth on upper 
leaf (M) and tuberous root development (T) high 
on the tap root (R). Scale bar is 20 mm. 


During autumn 1988, the seedlings were 
re-planted into a large wooden box con- 
taining sandy loam in an open, sunny 
position at La Trobe University. Growth 
during the following spring and summer 
resulted in an average plant height of 
approximately 0,4 metres, but none flow- 
ered until spring 1989. Flowering was 
prolific (up to 46 heads per plant) and 
continued from October to December, 
with fruit maturing from November to 
early January 1990. Filled fruits were 
obvious in many of the heads, but samples 
have not yet been scored. There was little 
apparent fruit-damage. 

Plant condition after flowering and 
fruiting seemed poor. Many leaves senes- 
ced and fell and, although the soil was 
watered when necessary over summer, only 
nine of 28 plants have remained alive. 
Apical shoots have mostly survived and 
axillary shoots have contributed much new 
leaf material. 

Whole, mature plants excavated from 
the field, trimmed and potted have sub- 
sequently developed several new shoots 
from renascent buds on old parts of stems, 


Taking into account both the data on 
fruit condition and on percentage germin- 
ation of filled fruits, only 0.6-7.7% of all 
fruits contain germinable seed. There are 
36-77 fruits per head and a mean of 2.1 
heads per plant in the population sampled 
at Site 12. For a population of 35 large 
plants (the mean number per site in 
1986-87 listed in Table 3 of Wisniewski e¢ 
al. (1987)), these figures give 16-436 
germinants per year. If even the lowest 
number survived to maturity, an average 
population could maintain its numbers, 
particularly given the apparent longevity 
of individuals of this species. Nevertheless, 
such small populations of a species which 
probably relies on cross pollination 
(Schaumann, Barker and Greig (1987), | 
referring to the genus) are at risk of 
eventual decline because the small gene- 

Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

pool can be significantly reduced by the 
loss of even a few mature plants. In 10 
populations re-sampled after 7-8 years, 
Wisniewski ef al. (1987) found both 
increases and marked decreases in num- 
bers of large plants. 

Fruits appear to disperse quite close to 
the parent plants (most within ca. 3 m 
radius) judging from seedling distribution 
in the 12 population. The achenes are quite 
heavy in relation to the size of the pappus 
and fruits fall at a steep angle when re- 
leased in moderate wind. Animal vectors 
are unknown. Because of this limited seed 
dispersal, physical expansion of popula- 
tions is likely to be slow and competition 
amongst increasing numbers in a popula- 
tion could result in significant attrition. 

The plants have slow initial shoot 
growth and appear to invest early in under- 
ground storage structure. Axillary vege- 
tative buds seem to be readily expressed 
and there are dormant buds in older stems 
which could be released after plant dam- 
age such as by fire, browsing or other 
physical injury. 

Continued monitoring of populations 
is necessary to allow better evaluation of 
risks to the species’ survival in Victoria. 
Destruction of the plants and/or their 
habitat is likely to pose a greater threat 
than insect predation or the probably 
normally low seed-set. 


Dr R. EF. Parsons, Department of Botany, 
La Trobe University, initiated the work, 
gave helpful advice and critically read a 
draft of the manuscript. Dr. P.J. Keane and 
N.H. Scarlett of the same Department 
contributed helpful information; Phillip 
Keane identified the fungal spores. Cat- 
riona McPhee, Entomology Department, 
Museum of Victoria, kindly identified the 
beetle at short notice. Frank Lawrence, 
Lawrence Horticulture, collected fruits on 
his property for the work. Trevor Phillips 
provided photographic advice and Claudia 
K6ppel and Damir Mikletic assisted with 
fruit counting. 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 


Gullan, P, K., Cheal, D. C. and Walsh, N. G. (in prep.) 
Victorian rare or threatened species. Dept. of 
Conservation, Forests and Lands, Melbourne. 

Scarlett N. H. (1984). A register of rare and endangered 
native plant species in Victoria. Botany Dept., La 
Trobe University, Victoria. (Unpublished). 

Schaumann, M., Barker, J. and Greig, J. (1987), 
Australian Daisies. The Australian Daisy Study 
Group (Lothian: Melbourne). 

Wisniewski, J. E., Scarlett, N. H. and Parsons, R. F. 
(1987). Rare and Endangered Victorian Plants. 
4. Olearia sp. aff, pannosa, Victorian Nat. 104: 



Cliff instability on the Victorian coast 
Eric Bird* 

This article is based on a talk given to the Geology Group of the Field Naturalists 
Club of Victoria at the National Herbarium on 2nd May 1990. 

On January the Ist 1990 a portion of 
sandstone cliff at Beaumaris collapsed, 
killing a 3-year old boy, and a fortnight 
later the inner arch of London Bridge, near 
Port Campbell, fell into the sea just after 
two young people had walked across it: 
they were stranded for several hours on the 
outlying archway, until rescued by police 

The two incidents have focussed atten- 
tion on the question of cliff instability on 
the Victorian coast, especially on the part 
of those concerned with public safety, and 
with legal and insurance problems. 

Cliff recession 

It is acknowledged that cliffs are dan- 
gerous places: they are inherently retreat- 
ing features. Their rate of recession varies 
with geological factors, notably the resis- 
tance and structure of the exposed rock 
formations, and with geomorphological 
factors, such as the form of the adjacent 
shore and nearshore zones and the degree 
of exposure to strong wave action. Cliffs 
on hard rock formations, such as the 
Wilson’s Promontory granite, have receded 
very little over the past few thousand years, 
whereas cliffs cut into soft sands and clays 
may retreat a metre or more each year. 

Cliff recession usually proceeds by way 
of basal undercutting, caused largely by 
wave scour, followed by occasional slump- 
ing of the weakened cliff face. Disinter- 
gration of a coastal rock formation is 

* Department of Geography, University of 
Melbourne, Parkville 3052. 

aided by the presence of joints, faults and 
bedding planes’. Factors which favour 
rapid cliff recession include a seaward dip 
of the rock outcrops, especially where 
permeable strata rest upon an imper- 
meable basement, and are loosened and 
undermined by seaward seepage down the 
interface; the absence of a protective shore 
platform, rocky outcrops or a wide beach 
in front of the cliff; and exposure to strong 
wave action arriving through relatively 
deep nearshore water. 

Cliff falls may be triggered by tectonic 
movements. During the 1931 earthquake 
at Napier, New Zealand, major falls occur- 
red along the high cliffs of Hawke Bay, 
producing extensive talus aprons, and in 
the 1964 Alaskan earthquake there was 
extensive cliff slumping near Anchorage, 
in an area now known as Earthquake Park. 
Such earthquakes usually produce mul- 
tiple cliff falls, rather than one localised 
collapse. Cliff falls are more often caused 
by the impact of severe storms, or by 
exceptionally wet weather inducirig strong 
groundwater seepage. Expansion and con- 
traction of coastal rock formations with 
alternations of heating and cooling tends 
to widen joints, and may provoke a cliff 
fall, and repeated wetting (by rainfall and 
sea spray) and drying also promotes sur- 
ficial disintegration. Exudation of fine- 
grained sediment and precipitation of 
accretionary features may overload the 
cliff face, and so lead to instability. In high 
latitudes there are many cliff falls in winter 
as a result of the freezing and thawing of 
coastal rocks, but this does not happen 

1. Joints are fractures that develop in a rock mass as the result of shrinkage, as during the drying-out of a 
marine formation raised above sea level or the cooling of igneous rocks such as granite and basalt. They 
differ from faults in that there is no dislocation of the adjacent rock formations. Bedding planes are divisions 
between sedimentary rock strata, generally due to variations or brief interruptions in sedimentation: they 
are initially horizontal, or nearly so, and may have been subsequently tilted or folded. Bedding planes that 
are emphasised by the shrinkage of a rock formation can be termed bedding joints. 


Victorian Nat. 


in Victoria. Finally, as Emery and Kuhn 
(1982) emphasised, cliff erosion may be 
caused by cliff-top loading where buildings 
are constructed, or by the increases in 
runoff and seepage that often accompany 
such development. 

Typically, cliff recession is a cyclic pro- 
cess: a steep to vertical cliff is undercut, 
| and a cliff fall produces a talus fan or 

apron which is then undercut and con- 
sumed by the sea until the cliff is again 
exposed to wave attack at its base (Fig. 1 
a-c). It is difficult to assess an average rate 
of cliff recession, because the retreat takes 
place intermittently by sectors, but it has 
been shown that the crests of vertical chalk 
cliffs of southern England, which retreat 
by recurrent local cliff falls, have been 
receding at up to 76 cm/year (May and 
| Heeps 1985). 

Several parts of the Victorian coastline 
consist of cliffs that are intermittently 
retreating. They include the soft Tertiary 
limestones of the Port Campbell district 

and similar weak Tertiary sands and clays 
between Anglesea and Torquay, and on the 
north shore of the Bellarine Peninsula. 
Cliffs cut in Tertiary sandstones have been 
retreating on the east coast of Port Phillip 
Bay between Brighton and Beaumaris and 
from Frankston to Balcombe Bay. Cliff 
falls have also occurred on weathered 
volcanic formations and tuffs in the Port- 
land district, on Pleistocene dune cal- 
carenites near Warrnambool and between 
Barwon Heads and Cape Schanck, and on 
Cretaceous mudstones on the Otways 
coast and between San Remo and Inver- 
loch, but in each of these situations 
bordering shore platforms or rocky areas 
have reduced the intensity of wave attack. 
Minor falls have occurred on cliffs of 
Newer Basalt between Cape Schanck and 
Balnarring and on the western and south- 
ern shores of Phillip Island, but these 
formations are relatively resistant, and 
often fronted by shore platforms. Changes 
have been very slow on cliffs and steep 

Fig. 1 a-c. Cyclic retreat of a cliff, resulting from undercutting until a cliff fall produces a talus 
fan which is cut back by marine erosion until the cliff base is once more exposed to wave attack. 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 



Fig. 2. The coastline at Loch-Ard Gorge, east of Port Campbell, consists of rectangular 
promontories, islands and inlets, the oudlines of which are closely related to the pattern of NE- 

SW and NW-SE vertical jointing. 

rocky shores on such resistant formations 
as the Mount Martha granodiorite, the 
granites of Wilson's Promontory and the 
Palaeozoic formations of Cape Liptrap 
and East Gippsland. 

Examples of cliff instability will be 
examined from the Port Campbell coast 
and from the shores of Port Phillip Bay 
between Sandringham and Beaumaris. 

Port Campbell coast 

The cliffs east and west of Port Camp- 
bell, which locally rise more than 30 metres 
above sea level, are cut into the horizontal 
or gently-dipping, well-stratified and 
strongly-jointed calcareous formation 
known as the Port Campbell Limestone 
(Baker 1943), They are exposed to strong 
south-westerly waves approaching through 
relatively deep water across a narrow sector 
of the Australian continental shelf. There 
are minor variations in the resistance of 


the strata, harder layers standing out as 
slight ledges, and the upper parts of the 
formation are sufficiently indurated by 
secondary carbonate precipitation to 
maintain very steep to vertical (80%90°) 
cliff profiles. Their outlines have been 
strongly influenced by erosion along inter- 
secting patterns of steep to vertical joints, 
especially those tending NW-SW and SW- 
NE. Breakaways have occurred, leaving 
joint planes exposed on the cliff face. The 
shapes of headlands, inlets and stacks 
reflect the joint pattern, especially in the 
Loch-Ard Gorge area (Fig. 2). Apart from 
some minor ledges of harder limestone 
locally at the cliff base, due possible to 
induration by carbonates precipitated 
from the sea water, shore platforms are 
poorly developed, and there are only 
minor beaches. In general, the cliff base 
is fronted by a smoothly declining sea 
floor, except where there are residual 
offshore stacks and reefs. 

Victorian Nat. 


These cliffs have been retreating for the 
past six thousand years, since the rising 
Late Quaternary marine transgression 
brought the sea to approximately its 
present level. Coastal waterfalls and 
hanging valleys indicate that cliff retreat 
has been rapid in comparison with stream 
incision and valley deepening. During the 
past century, cliff recession has been by 
way of localised rock falls, most of which 
have been unrecorded. The occurrence of 
these falls is indicated by paler scars on the 
generally yellow-brown cliff faces, and by 
cliff-base talus heaps in various stages of 
reduction by marine attack. Vegetation has 
developed on the more persistent talus 
heaps. Documented changes include the 
betrunking of Elephant Rock and the 
reduction of Sphinx Rock during a major 
storm in 1935, and a major fall west of 
Sentinel Rock in 1939 (Baker 1943). In the 
latter, a sector of cliff about 200 metres 
long and up to 12.2 metres wide suddenly 

collapsed into the sea, producing an apron 
of blocky talus, parts of which still persist 
after half a century of marine erosion (Fig. 
3). Baker recorded that when observers 
from Port Campbell arrived on the scene 
a few minutes after the collapse they found 
the ground surface still quivering. 

Incipient cliff falls may be indicated by 
cracks in the cliff face, or behind the cliff 
crest where joints have begun to widen, 
and there are often minor falls in advance 
of a major collapse. Some falls have oc- 
curred during stormy weather, when waves 
break heavily against, and even over, these 
high cliffs (Baker 1958); others after spells 
of very wet weather, when the coastal rock 
formations are saturated; but some have 
been sudden and unexpected, when the 
weather was calm and dry. 

This was the situation with the inner 
arch at London Bridge. This internation- 
ally famous landform formed as the result 
of penetration by marine erosion along 

Sa nee POT TAP RY, Coa 


Fig. 3. View eastward to Sentinel Rock, where a major cliff fall (X) occurred in 1939, producing 

‘a talus apron, the remains of which are still visible in this photograph taken fifty years later. 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 



joint planes through a long narrow prom- 
ontory, to form two caves roofed by 
slightly harder limestone (Fig. 4 A,B). 
Examination of historical sketches and 

photographs has shown little evidence of 

change in this feature since the early years 
of the present century, but close inspection 
of photographs taken during the past 
twenty years shows that small fragments 
of rock had disappeared from the edges 
of the underside of the arch. The joints 
along which the collapse occurred were not 
conspicuous, however, and there was no 
reason to suppose that a collapse was 
imminent when the structure gave way on 
January the 15th. The weather had been 
fine, with only a moderate swell, for the 
previous several days, and there was no evi- 
dence of any unusual tectonic activity. 
Reports of a minor tremor at Port Camp- 
bell have not been confirmed, and some 
have suggested that (as in 1939) the noise 
and vibration of the rock fall were regis- 
tered in the town, about 6 kilometres east 
of London Bridge. 

The residual outlying arch still looks 
secure (Fig. 5), but in due course this, too, 
will collapse, leaving two residual stacks 
(Fig. 4 C-B), Some of the Twelve Apostles 
may well have originated as the result of 
collapse of similar natural arches through 
promontories. Several other sectors of the 
Port Campbell cliffs show cracks indic- 
ative of rock falls to come, and the whole 
stretch of high vertical cliffs should be 
regarded as hazardous, especially during 
wet or stormy weather. 

Black Rock Point 

Cliffed promontories persist on Mel- 
bourne’s bayside coast, notably at Red 
Bluff and Black Rock Point, where minor 
anticlines bring up the relatively resistant 
basement of Black Rock Sandstone, over- 
lain by softer Red Bluff Sand. The se- 
quence is well displayed at Black Rock 
Point, where a structural shore platform 
has developed on the Black Rock Sand- 
stone, and gullied cliffs have been cut in 
the overlying Red Bluff Sand (Fig. 6). 


Fig. 4. Diagrams to show the evolution of the 
double archway at London Bridge as the result 
of the formation and growth of caves through 
an elongated promontory (A-B). The recent 
collapse of the inner arch left an ‘island archway’ 
(C), and a further collapse will leave two stacks 
to be reduced by marine erosion (D-E). 

Victorian Nat. 


Fig. 5. London Bridge on January the 16th 1990, immediately following the collapse of the inner 
arch, which disintergrated into large angular joint-bounded blocks as it fell into the sea. 

Fig. 6. The rilled cliffs in Red Bluff Sand at Black Rock Point have retreated as the result of erosion 
)\by subaerial runoff and intermittent basal undercutting by storm waves, exposing the darker 
}punderlying Black Rock Sandstone as a shore platform. 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 91 



> Red Bluff Sand )2 5. 

= Black Rock Sandstone ——~—}— 


Fig. 7. Relationship of cliffs cut in Black Rock Sandstone to the Beaumaris Monocline. HWM =high 

water mark, 

Successive surveys of this cliff have 
shown the importance of seepage and 
runoff following heavy rains, in cutting the 

cliff-face rills and carrying down fans of 

soft sandy material to the cliff base, which 
are then washed away by waves at high tide. 
Alternations of erosion by this subaerial 
runoff and basal undercutting by high tide 

storm waves have combined to cut this cliff 

back, but the rate of recession has been 
very slow (Bird, Cullen and Rosengren 
1973; Bird and Rosengren 1986, 1987). A 
minor promontory has, however, been 
breached to form an arch, which collapsed 
in the winter of 1981 to leave a stack, 
reproducing on a small scale the sequence 
seen at London Bridge (Fig. 5 in Bird 

Cliff recession at Black Rock Point 
would certainly have been much more 
rapid if it were not for the protective shore 
platform of Black Rock Sandstone, the 
persistence of which has been aided by the 
induration which occurs in the upper 
intertidal and supratidal zones on such 
outcrops. This is the result of accumula- 
tion of iron compounds leached from 
internal and higher parts of the rock 
formation by percolating groundwater and 
precipitated from seepage in the surficial 
zone. Similar hardening has been noted 
on ferruginous rock outcrops at several 


locations around Port Phillip Bay, notably 
along the Mornington coast, where it has 
also retarded cliff retreat. 

Beaumaris cliffs 

The undulating Black Rock Sandstone 
formation rises southward before plunging 
across the Beaumaris Monocline, and 
outcrops parallel to this flexure in the line 
of cliffs facing south-east between Table 
Rock Point and Mentone (Fig. 7). These 
are vertical cliffs up to 12 metres high, with 
a local capping of softer Red Bluff Sand. 
They have been retreating as a result of 
intermittent minor rock falls, several of 
which have occurred during the past two 
decades. The falls have occurred along 
joint planes which intersect the Black Rock 
Sandstone parallel and oblique to the cliff 
face. As the rock disintergrates, it breaks 
up into joint-bounded blocks, which fall 
to the base of the cliffs. Each fall has 
produced a scar in the cliff and.a heap of 
ferruginous sandstone boulders at the 
back of the shore, which soon become 
indurated by the process mentioned pre- 
viously, and are then consumed only 
slowly by marine erosion. Otherwise, there 
is very little beach material, and the sea 
floor declines gradually beneath Beau- 
maris Bay. 

Victorian Nat. 


As itis not exposed to the prevailing 
south-westerly winds, this stretch of cliffs 
receives strong wave action only occasion- 
ally, during episodes of strong southerly 
or south-easterly wind action. The overall 
rate of recession in recent decades is too 
small to be measurable when comparing 
early maps and air photographs with the 
present outline. Cliff crest recession as the 
result of a rock fall is usually very small, 
up to a few centimetres. The fall on 
January the Ist 1990, at a site south-west 
of Keefer’s Pier (near the Beaumaris 
Hotel), was on a cliff sector about 3 metres 
wide and up to 4 metres high, and did not 
produce any cliff-crest recession (Fig. 8). 

This fall took place along part of a joint 
plane that had been widened by pene- 
trating tree roots. The weather at the time 
was fine and calm, and there is no evidence 
of any tectonic triggering. There was some 
speculation as to whether heavy lorry 
traffic along Beach Road, only a few 
metres in from the cliff crest, had con- 
tributed to this instability, but there was 
no heavy lorry traffic on New Years’ Day. 
It is unlikely that the fall would have 
attracted much attention if it were not for 
the death of the small child: the chances 
of someone being at precisely this point 
just when such a rock fall occurred were 
extremely low. Nevertheless, the incident 
drew attention to the fact that cliffs are 
dangerous places, and that anyone who 
lingers near their crests or immediately 
beneath them is in fact taking a risk, albeit 
a small one in comparison, say, with 
venturing on to a Victorian highway. 

In April 1990 another cliff fall occurred, 
close to the site of the January event. 
Further falls may be expected here, especi- 
| ally where the cliff base has been undercut 
by marine erosion, or by people seeking 
Cheltenhamian fossils from the Mio- 
Pliocene marls at the base of the Black 

Rock Sandstone (Bird 1987). 

| Sandringham cliffs 

One way in which cliff hazards develop 
is illustrated on Sandringham beach, to 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 

the north of Red Bluff. The coast here 
formerly consisted of steep vegetated 
bluffs behind a wide sandy beach, but this 
beach, like others on the east coast of Port 
Phillip Bay, has been gradually depleted 
in recent decades, There is a marked 
seasonal alternation on these beaches: 
during winter, westerly and north-westerly 
waves drive beach sand southwards, while 
in summer southerly waves become domi- 
nant, and move the sand back towards the 
north, Consequently, in April and May, 
when the first winter storms occur, the 
southern parts are much depleted. Under 
these conditions the Sandringham bluffs 
have been undercut, and converted into 
increasingly high cliffs in soft clayey Red 
Bluff Sand, receding as the result of basal 
undercutting and intermittent slumping. 

Response to cliff recession 

All cliffs are hazardous, but when ac- 
cidents occur there is invariably a demand 
that something be done to make them 
safer. Where rapid cliff recession threatens 
developed property, the traditional res- 
ponse has been to stabilise the cliffs, 
usually by constructing a basal sea wall or 
boulder rampart, and landscaping the cliff 
to a more gradually sloping bluff which 
can be stabilised with planted vegetation. 
This is what has happened to receding 
cliffs on several sectors of Melbourne’s 
bayside coast, notably between Green 
Point and Hampton and from Black Rock 
to Quiet Corner. Few people now realise 
that these stabilised bluffs and undercliff 
walk are the outcome of engineering works 
in the late nineteen-thirties, replacing 
vertical cliffs in soft Red Bluff Sand, which 
had been receding at about a metre per 
year, and were threatening to undermine 
Beach Road (Mackenzie 1939). 

In 1973 there were proposals to treat the 
cliffs at Black Rock Point in this way, but 
there were protests from local residents, 
who wanted them preserved as an element 
of scenic variety, and scientists who valued 



Fig. 8. The cliff fall at Beaumaris, as seen on January the 2nd 1990, with an ABC 
television camera crew. 

94 Victorian Nat. 


Fig. 9. The bluffs south of Quiet Corner, Black Rock, were being undercut until an artificial beach 
was emplaced to protect them from erosion in 1984. 

the cliffs for geological and geomorpho- 
logical teaching and research. Surveys then 
showed that the erosion rate had been 
overstated, and that the risk to Beach 
Roads was remote, and the proposal was 
abandoned (Bird, Cullen and Rosengren 
1973). Black Rock Point was listed as a Site 
of Scientific Interest by the coastal plan- 
ners, who now endeavour to maintain such 
features. However, an important cliff 
exposure of Pleistocene sediments west of 
Point Henry, near Geelong, has vanished 
as the result of coastal engineering works. 

In 1984 a new approach was initiated 
south of Quiet Corner, where beach de- 
pletion had resulted in undercutting of the 
bluff, threatening Beach Road. Instead of 
a boulder rampart, an artificial beach was 
emplaced to act as a protective feature and 
also improve the recreational resource 
(Bird 1990). This has been successful (Fig. 
9), and a similar artificial beach is to be 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 

established in front of the eroding cliffs 
at Sandringham. 

Where the risk of cliff falls has become 
high, it may be necessary to fence out 
sectors of cliff, as at Sandringham, to deter 
people from wandering into a hazardous 
area. Some councils, aware of the pos- 
sibility of legal action, have placed warn- 
ing signs near particularly dangerous cliff 
sectors. The question of responsibility 
needs to be resolved. We must surely accept 
that certain places, such as cliffs, quarries, 
waterfalls, rivers, and lakes are inherently 
dangerous: we cannot fence them all off, 
and too many warning signs are counter- 
productive. Cliffs are features of scenic 
and scientific value, and should not be des- 
troyed by landscaping and engineering 
works, It should be acknowleged that they 
are hazardous, but people must be per- 
suaded to avoid taking unnecessary risks 
with them, as with other elements of our 
natural environment. 




I am grateful to Patricia Hoyne, State 
Library of Victoria, for searching for early 
photographs of London Bridge, and to 
Chandra Jayasuriya and Wendy Nicol for 
help with diagrams and photographs. 


Baker, G. (1943). Features of a Victorian limestone 
coastline. J. Geology 51: 359-86. 

Baker, G. (1958). Stripped zones at cliff edges along 
a high wave energy coast, Port Campbell, Vic- 
toria. Proc. Roy. Soc. Victoria 70: 175-9. 

Bird, E. C. F. (1987). Geology and Landforms of Beach 
Park: An Excursion Guide. Sandringham City 

Bird, E. C. F. (1990). Artificial beach nourishment on 
the shores of Port Phillip Bay, Australia. Journal 
of Coastal Research Special Issue 7: in press. 

Bird, E. C. F., Cullen, P. W. and Rosengren, N. J. 
(1973). Conservation problems at Black Rock 
Point, Victorian Naturalist 90: 240-7. 

Bird, E. C. F. and Rosengren, N. J. (1986). Changes 
in cliff morphology at Black Rock Point, 
1973-1986. Victorian Naturalist 103: 106-13. 

Bird, E. C. F. and Rosengren, N. J. (1987). Coastal cliff 
management: an example from Black Rock Point, 
Melbourne, Australia. Journal of Shoreline 
Management 3: 39-51. 

Emery, K. O. and Kuhn, G. G, (1982). Sea cliffs: their 
processes, profiles, and classification. Bulletin 
Geol. Soc. America 93: 644-54. 

Mackenzie, A. D. (1939). Coastal erosion in Victoria. 
Trans. Inst. Engineers Australia 11: 229-36. 
May, V. and Heeps, C. (1985). The nature and rates 
of change on chalk coastlines. Zeitschrift fur 

Geomorphologie. Supplementband 57: 81-94. 


Victorian Nat. 


Lepilaena cylindrocarpa and L. marina at Swan Bay, Victoria. 
S. Strother* 


Flowering plants which are restricted to 
life in marine conditions are known as sea- 
grasses (Den Hartog 1970). The genus 
Lepilaena is often included with the sea- 
grasses, tolerating conditions ranging from 
freshwater to hypersaline and includes 
species occurring in marine habitats 
(Robertson 1984). Robertson (1984) in- 
cludes three species of Lepilaena likely to 
be present in marine and marine-associ- 
ated (such as saltmarsh pools) situations 
in'southern Australia, namely L. preissii 
(Lehm.) F. Muell., L. cylindrocarpa (Koer- 
nicke ex Walp.) Benth. and L. marina E.L. 
Robertson. The latter species was newly 
described in 1984 and is the subject of this 
article in relation to the hydrophyte flora 
of Swan Bay, near Queenscliff, Victoria, 

The Lepilaena species present in Swan Bay, 
Victoria: past confusion 

Earlier work carried out in Swan Bay 
(Kerr 1982) indicated that Lepilaena 
cylindrocarpa was present in the saltmarsh 
pools on the fringe of the bay and that a 
similar though not identical morphologi- 
cal form was present on the mudbanks 
growing in association with Zostera 
muelleri Irmisch ex Aschers.. Using the 
taxonomy available (Aston 1973), these 
forms were both reported as Lepilaena 
cylindrocarpa. This nomenclature was 
continued in a later paper (Denning ef al. 
1986). During late 1988 and early 1989, 
Mrs. E.L. Robertson was kind enough to 
identify specimens from Swan Bay, show- 
ing that L. marina is present on the 
mudbanks and L. cylindrocarpa in the 
saltmarsh pools. 

The difference in the two species is 
apparent even by eye in that the mudbank 

* Department of Biological Sciences, 
Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, 3217. 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 

species is a more robust plant than the 
saltmarsh-pool species. The differences in 
the fruits distinguish the two species in 
fertile material, as described in Robertson 
(1984). Lepilaena preissii, which we have 
not observed at Swan Bay (E. Kerr pers. 
comm.), should be easily distinguished 
from the other two species because it is 
consistently monoecious whereas the other 
two species are dioecious. 

Recently Shepherd and Robertson 
(1989) reported that the specimen cited as 
L, cylindrocarpa collected from a mudflat 
in Swan Bay by King (reference cited) and 
preserved as a voucher specimen in the 
Melbourne University herbarium, is now 
classified as L. marina. This is consistent 
with the findings reported above. 

Ecological aspects 

Lepilaena cylindrocarpa appears to exist 
only in saltmarsh pools on the fringe of 
Swan Bay whereas L. marina coexists with 
Z. muelleri on the highest mudflats. The 
ecological differences associated with the 
two species may relate to their competitive 
ability. Lepilaena cylindrocarpa forms 
monospecific stands in the pools close to 
McDonald’s jetty on the western side of 
Swan Bay. It is possible that some of the 
pools also include Ruppia species as the 
Lepilaena/Ruppia association is known 
from Westernport Bay (Vollebergh and 
Congdon 1986). Lepilaena marina by 
comparison competes with Z. muelleri for 
occupancy of the shallow mudbanks. 

Vollebergh and Congdon (1986) in their 
study of L. cylindrocarpa growing in 
saltmarsh pools around Westernport Bay, 
showed that this species displayed a ‘‘win- 
ter annual” reproductive strategy, that 
is, seeds survive the hypersaline conditions 
as the pool dries out in summer and 
germinate in autumn or later in the year. 



Lepilaena cylindrocarpa was shown to 
germinate over a prolonged period under 
field conditions. This may ensure the 
maintenance of the population in this 
unpredictable environment. Unfortun- 
ately, little seems to be known about the 
ecology of L. marina but Robertson (1984) 
states that it is “probably annual”. There 
is clearly a need for further study of this 
species and Swan Bay provides an ideal 
location for such study. 


Lepilaena marina is the mudbank form 
of Lepilaena established on the mudbanks 
of Swan Bay and formerly referred to L. 
cylindrocarpa. Lepilaena cylindrocarpa in 
the strict sense (Robertson 1984) appears 
to be confined to pools in the saltmarsh 
fringe of Swan Bay, suggesting that some 
ecological differences may be associated 
with the different morphology of these two 
species. The range of occurrence of L. 
marina in Victoria still needs to be 


The author is grateful to Dr Elizabeth 
Kerr whose initial mapping of the sea- 
grasses of Swan Bay provided the back- 
ground information for this paper, and 
also to Mrs Enid Robertson who kindly 
provided unequivocal identification of the 
Lepilaena specimens from Swan Bay. 


Aston, H. I. (1973). Aquatic Plants of Australia. 
(Melbourne University Press: Melbourne). 

Den Hartog, C. (1970). The Sea-grasses of the World. 
(North-Holland Publishing Company: 

Denning, N. T., Hudson, H. A., Kerr, E. A, and 
Strother, S. (1986). Distribution of vascular 
hydrophytes and description of associated 
macrofaunal communities in Swan Bay, Vic- 
toria. Proc. R. Soc. Vict. 98: 139-45. 

Kerr, E. (1982). The distribution of seagrasses in Swan 
Bay. Geelong Nat. 19: 59-73. 

Robertson, E. L. (1984). Seagrasses. In ‘The Marine 
Benthic Flora of Southern Australia, Part I H. 
B. S. Womersley, ed. (Government Printer: 
South Australia). 


Shepherd, S. A. and Robertson, E. L. (1989). Regional 
Studies — Seagrasses of South Australia, Western 
Victoria and Bass strait. In ‘Biology of 
Seagrasses. A Treatise on the Biology of 
Seagrasses with Special Reference to the 
Australian Region. A. W. D. Larkum, A. J. 
McComb and S. A. Shepherd, eds. (Elsevier: 

Vollebergh, P. J. and Congdon, R. A. (1986). 
Germination and Growth of Ruppia polycarpa 
and Lepilaena cylindrocarpa in ephemeral 
saltmarsh pools, Westernport Bay, Victoria. 
Aquatic. Bot. 26: 165-79. 

Victorian Nat. 


‘ Bush-peas of Victoria - genus Pultenaea Sm. 
(Fabaceae) No. 24 

A Key to Pultenaea species in Victoria and an index to previous articles 
M.G. Corrick* 

In the twelve year period 1976-1978 the 
Victorian Naturalist has published 23 
contributions to this series in which 47 
species of Pultenaea have been described 
and illustrated. 

Taxonomic problems remain in several 
species, but it seems more useful to publish 
a key now rather than wait, possibly years, 
for problems to be resolved. 

Generic changes within the tribe Mir- 
beliae are foreshadowed (M.D. Crisp pers. 
comm.,), and these will affect Pul/tenaea. 

Some of the variations in recognized 
species have been dealt with by keying the 
same species in more than one place. One 
apparently un-named taxon appears as P 
sp. followed by locality. 

In using the key it should be remem- 

* 7 Glenluss Street, Balwyn, Victoria 3103 

bered that many Pultenaea species are 
extremely variable and that several hybrid 
populations are known, 


. Style thick and hooked, < twice as long as ovary; stipules up to 0.5 mm long, very 
inconspicuous, never fused behind the petiole (slender, wiry shrubs of wet 

eva MTT Ely, Beer crete he yeeniess cle 4 Bet Gok PEMeE CMAP uct AB? RS Sa ate Ur 2 
Style slender and gently curved, ) twice as long as ovary; stipules usually more 
than 0.5 mm long, often partly fused behind the petiole .................. 3 
. Flowers up to 7 mm long; stems hairy with long, pale hairs ...... P. paludosa 

Flowers 8-11 mm long; stems glabrous (very young shoots may be slightly pubescent) 
ROTEL Sad tion Poe tactta ut COC TT Siri Side Fee eA Hck th Hing ota he, & alten wads P. subumbellata 

PCAC SCOT OSM HELM WHOIS SO LOCITEC ies, sogttes to a Jassie tede 2) Seedee Sansui sea ciel santos 4 
Leaves alternate (rarely sub-opposite in P dentata) .............2.-.0005-. 6 
POISE AN GRSUOPIMOSIDC REE aft sasha ns aura giscagteh aie Heere vara odes gal Seg é P. luehmannii 
TSSAVES Tay W LONI SEE ECON eo, eal opal cule re ges cbse eine Se tapas RENN HOME pees 5 
. Leaf blade linear; margin incurved; apex obtuse ................4. P tenella 

Leaf blade broadly rhomboidal; margin flat; apex conspicuously pungent 
re) vette eek colar le re tn A ey i Rear ee oh AR at re et ee P. cunninghamii 
. Flowers terminal, 1 or 2 together at tips of shoots; flowers surrounded by persistent 
imbricate bracts; flowering shoots often short and spread along branches (new 
SHOOLS- arisingebElGW=nFlOTESCENCE) = 7. Fs se cas ie tod ea eat 2 polaron ane dea 7 
Flowers axillary or in a condensed head-like raceme of about (3-)6-12 flowers; bracts 
present or absent; if head-like inflorescence composed of <5 flowers then bracts 
absent or deciduous (new terminal shoots arising from within 

HNMR ICITE STIG Dep sek ame Scare rt ee Lena Pantene nese, wc hforese: aback ho a0 acs (pe ERE fs 9 
. Leaf blade pungent, flat, lower surface with 3-5 parallel veins ..... P. muelleri 
Leaf blade blunt, tightly inrolled and grooved above, appearing terete, veins 
CS ESL Comets SOs Ae MNT See EAC He ts Vd te. spat brie wmstalee eG eosin haa e uaPalape| (elo [ae 8 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 99 





Leaf blade broadest above the middle, tip recurved, petiole absent or minute and 
<1 mm long; stipules broadly triangular, length/width ratio up to 2:1. 

we DU erateres, AW ae eee Rel d ok Sciche costes RFS & ancitaiie ara D aes anrae P. prostrata 
Leaf blade broadest at or below the middle, tip straight, petiole distinct 1-2 mm 
long; stipules narrowly triangular, length/width ratio >) 3:1 ....... P. prolifera 

Leaf blade broadly ovate to orbicular, 2-4 mm long, 1.5-4 mm wide with short, 
recurved, pungent apex (uncommon plants of western Victoria, except for an 
isolated eastern occurrence of P densifolia near Bindi) ............--+--- 10 
Leaf blade various, not as above, usually at least twice as long as wide; apex 
variable, pungent or blunt; if less than twice as long as wide then apex not 
POULT ay er eg cence gre tr ante ah otent cre cisete te gM ey atm ae otal onttied Aaans arte cian sneahaeet 11 
Leaf blade glabrous, broadly ovate or broadly elliptic, 2-4 mm long, 1.5-3 mm wide; 
flowers sessile (plant of mallee areas in Big Desert and an isolated eastern occurrence 
rebar feel SUT ae rae rn oly in lrg lee iota engin ns se i mrt oe ees Ath Hert P. densifolia 
Leaf blade hairy on underside, +orbicular, 2-4 mm diameter; flowers on distinct 
pedicels up to 5 mm long (plant endemic on Mt. Byron in Black Range) 

RR Ae A re Ae led ee ett Al ate A PER ete Pek AA teed P. patellifolia 

. Margin of leaf blade recurved or revolute (leaves occasionally concave or ‘V’ shape 

in section), if margin flat then leaf darker on the upper surface........... 12 
Margin of leaf blade incurved or involute, if margin flat then leaf darker on lower 
SUIT PACE: Ha Pe ais Path Fe cae Pek acne ee arhucere benia td a hte ete AS tewem tus ceuedion ten? ae catidiobe elskeus 25 
. Bracts absent, flowers one per leaf axil on pedicels usually much longer than leaves; 
usually prostrate, mat-forming plants..............-+++++5- P. pendunculata 
Bracts present; flowers forming a condensed raceme or head-like cluster, sessile 
or shortly pedunculate; habit various but not mat-forming .............-- 13 
Fe EACTSECECIOUOUS lg oldtiie ru ucre ns FO oe tote enh Seer arity Arete Ty sng stae Fs 14 
IATACES: (OGTSIGLEMIU Ae Sates ratieernsn ab 3 rergeteces cutee raster ab dclees aarti eeeuapedh ebotedied nae eran 22 
PO Teal apexspuneenty fe. wcyeegcie sea eater alle whe Pedy tans Pane 6 UoaPrinsrn altel en Sunt 15 
Leaf apex blunt, but weak, usually recurved mucro may be present ........ 16 

. Leaf blade cuneate to oblanceolate, terminating abruptly in a pungent mucro 

PAE Sathya dtce fos oh at a eternal g ad Sesh ee D  tS otette P. daphnoides 
Leaf blade narrowly eliptic to linear, tapering gradually to a pungent point 

fee ee eS Ae a SR LA rad SEE T einer ee tera sae teeta erates P. benthamii 

. Leaf blade broadest below the middle .................---eseuees P. gunnii 
(widespread form) 

Leaf blade broadest at or above the middle ...............-.-..---eeee: 17 

. Leaf blade widest at the middle, oblong, elliptic or emarginate............ 18 
Leaf blade widest above the middle, cuneate, obovate or obcordate ........ 21 

. Flowers 5-6 mm long; leaves erect, length usually )}5 times width ....P retusa 
Flowers 7-10 mm long; leaves spreading, length usually (4 times width ....19 
Leaf blade apex blunt, slightly indented, margin thin (on granite hills of N.E. 
MACTOET AP ee dees coat pies or cpr Oe Ee MR nee eh ee et P. platyphylla 
Leaf blade apex with weak recurved point, margin thick ................. 20 
Upper surface of leaf blade rough with remains of tubercle based hairs; stipules 
darks brawh; longer than peviGle soy. cre: teeters ois see op poet atetee P. gunnii 

(Brisbane Range form) 

Upper surface of leaf blade smooth, stipules light brown, usually not longer than 
DELILE ee SENT Ole Wc distorted: wlottehe ec eerteey ate on tte a: ours, RnR eeen er eer nega? P. stricta 
(lowland plant of moist situations) 

Victorian Nat. 
















Leaf blade glabrous, both surfaces finely sprinkled with brown dots, upper surface 
usually much darker than lower (on dried specimens) .............. P. retusa 
Leaf blade with upper surface scabrid, lower surface with loose, rusty hairs, or 
SLADE OLAS cee tes hapree teres osc Eroag eae tad aes ca etok ea sits eh ach soc tla fea ee eet ce ace 22 
Upper surface of leaf blade scabrid with tubercle based hairs, lower surface with 
loose, rusty hairs (leaf size and shape very variable) ............... P. scabra 
Upper surface of leaf blade scabrid but not hairy, lower surface glabrous 

Phe Forms of P scabra from Grampians including hybids with PR benthamii 
Lower leaf surface with spreading hairs; leaf tip with long, fragile, glabrous mucro; 
stems with a mixture of short and long spreading hairs .......... P. polifolia 
Lower leaf surface with appressed hairs; leaf tip pubescent, either with a short, 
recurved point, or tapering gradually into a long slender point; stem usually with 

APTOS MAILS aves at ates else tt es Soe AS py ade Stead « Ueto ake rey 24 
FIOWePrstysSuRmn LONE nas Sate Be ote glauca Lee Lapp ew ay ted P. linophylta 
Flowers (9-)10-12 mm long 02.600 c occ ee ee ete epee eee eens 25 
Stipules 4-7 mm long, about 4 length of leaf ....-......+.-.-5. P. paleacea 
Stipules 1.5-2 mm long, up to % length of leaf..............-. P. capitellata 
Ovary glabrous or with hairs only at the summit..............---..-+++- 27 
Ovary pubescent to the base ......... 06. cece tee ete eee eee eens 33 
Bracteoles trifid, divided at or above the middle; central lobe narrow, linear, outer 
lobes broad, brown and conspicuous ........... 602. ¢ reece ee eee eee 28 
Bracteoles entire, or if trifid then divided below the middle with central lobe often 
leaf-like and outer lobes narrow and inconspicuous ...........++++-s4+5- 29 

Leaf apex with long, weak, recurved point; stipules 4-5 mm long, strongly recurved; 
lower stems leafless with prominent stipular scars; standard length = width 
c, 10 mm long x 10 mm wide......... P sp. (Splitters Range and Myrtleford) 
Leaf apex blunt; stipules 2-3 mm long, not recurved, lower stems usually leafy, 
stipular scars not prominent, standard length > width c, 10 mm long x 7 mm wide 
Ty ra cede link Gary tere eA en ei ES eee ek ates P. subspicata 

Leaves blunt; venation not palmate ....-.-.. 6-2 -+ee eee eer ere en eee 30 
Leaves 1-4 (-5) mm x 0.5-3 mm, ¢ twice as long as Wide i. 6.4 es: P. foliolosa 
Leaves 5-15 mm x 1-5 mm ) twice as long as wide .......-..--+++250-00> 31 
Bracteoles ovate, shorter than calyx tube........------+- ++ esse P altissima 
Bracteoles narrowly triangular, longer than calyx TT teat 2 oe toch athe, ore gies bs 32 

Leaves spreading; blade + flat with incurved margin; flowers deep orange and 
brick red; stems and usually whole plant hairy (glabrous plants occur in Rushworth 

LUT Te Fee eAe Quoc ce re iat ner tities Pag ol Ce Ot aac alkane ik anata ee P. humilis 
Leaves + erect, terete; flowers pure yellow, stems and usually whole plant glabrous 
(plants with hairy leaves occur in Kinglake area).........--+++ P. weindorferi 
Leaf apex pungent......... 06-0 e see e cree cette estes ene en tener ess 34 
Leaf apex obtuse or with fragile bristle-like point (often deciduous with 
eNO Cait ich See HE Roe AR eo ne tecesiet hee ells oy AEE Spe et! 38 
Leaves with 5 prominent longitudinal veins on underside (endemic in Grampians) 

P. costata 

ee en ie EAE bates a) Pil wile gars oben), A £49) 8 relent: t Darke iae Fee ST 

Leaves not obviously veined on underside, or with central vein prominent . .35 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 101 














. Bracteoles linear to narrow-triangular, seldom resinous ......-..++...--++ 36 

Bracteoles broadly ovate, highly resinous and shining................-++- 37 

. Bracteoles much longer than calyx tube, narrowly ovate with long, slender, acute 

tip; stipules conspicuous and almost obscuring the stem (bracteoles and stipules 
fringed with: long Hairs). s/s 4.5 dates nines Pectin or eee es P. acerosa 
Bracteoles usually shorter than calyx tube, narrowly ovate to ovate with short, acute 
(ip; stipules narrow and not obscuring the stem ..........++4.: P. juniperina 
Leaves terete; bracteoles about 2 the length of calyx tube (endemic in northern 
COTAMIPIATIS) Be tees socal reece ss toes pels WaN ime REE Te ato eaaN ys P. williamsoniana 
Leaves + flat with inrolled margin; bracteoles longer than calyx tube and enveloping 
it (on granite hills in N.B. Victoria) ..... sees e sewer eee eens P. vrolandii 
Calyx tube glabrous; hairs, when present, confined to calyx lobes ......--. 39 
Calyxstube and lobes hairy sc... tee ee poet mess cee rsa mh e ett ee 40 
Flowers 1-3 ina tight cluster at the tips of short lateral branches; stipules lanceolate 
2-3 mm long, tapering to a slender point ........4+--.0..0..e ee P. tenuifolia 
Flowers axillary, usually well spaced along branches; stipules boat shaped c.1 mm 
long (strongly aromatic, uncommon shrub of western and central Victoria) 
BL RAR, te es Peri oslo gence ihe ee coe ye tiepbreet: pon P. graveolens 

Stems glabrous or with appressed hairs ......+-++s0s eee eee eee e eee es 41 
Stems with:spreadirig Hairs. .c.c2.. 0. ee oe ee be ed dg See ae ae weet e s 45 
Bracteoles trifid, (lateral lobes often obscure in PR laxiflora) .............- 42 
BTACtEOIES SINIEGL eX ha ahs led Rie She a, ope Bltael nM oreee In Ate pee terard de Mince batts fen nge se cr She potan 43 
Leaves widest at or below the middle, not clustered, tips straight, stems glabrous 

DA eT A OEE OP NR On 1 es EE eee Pee bodice pry: P. dentata 
Leaves widest above the middle, usually clustered, tips recurved, stems hairy 
Ae Se a A re ia ned ata tn ts eh tee thal et eit PH P. laxiflora 
Bracteoles attached at base of calyx tube (small, weak alpine shrub) 

Oe es ne le ee UE OE ADE Re 3 oes st: wearer othe ties P. fasciculata 

Bracteoles attached at middle of calyx tube .........-.. 0.0.0 eee seen ets 44 
Leaves conduplicate and recurved, 3-5 (-9) mm x 1-3 mm (rigid divaricate shrub 
of dry forests, often in auriferous areas) .......-+.+4+--000--- P. largiflorens 
Leaves + flat, not recurved, 6-8 mm x 2.5-3 mm (rare plant of Grampians, Victoria 
Range, probabily-sxtinct) ints cnys + pay anne oe donate less P. maidenii 
, Bractenlessveriomsly- sat Dede. 2 eg ccc ataahrece gat banieertaenty ein gen cre creen e 46 
Bracteolés entire, OfteMmTESINOUS ...04 pare paced se wears nce amt e ead 49 
Lateral lobes of bracteoles conspicuous, brown and papery and as wide, or wider 
than centre lobe (uncommon plants of western Victoria) ........-.....+-- 47 
Lateral lobes of bracteoles usually inconspicuous, pale and not wider than centre 
lobe, if wider than centre lobe then dark and resinous ............--+++5: 48 

Stipules pale, connate almost to the tips, persistent, overlapping and obscuring 
the stems. Leaves mucronate, rigid, glabrous except when very young 

tnt ate Nae ie Pt © erie amen pe ect ed fe tee op Ree Ee ae ge P. vestita 
Stipules dark, connate only at the base and not obscuring the stem, leaves blunt 
Te linbecjeriecceayuy-ag akc gp ge ie rereP ett e pr ort ee eat ike ution P. daltonii 
Leaves + flat, margin incurved but upper surface visible ........ P. hispidula 
Leaves tightly inrolled, appearing terete, grooved above, leaf blade usually gently 
WOCUTVER A Wiese a Diente P. mollis (a form from Grampians and SW. Victoria) 
Flowers rose pink (shrub of higher parts of eastern Grampians) ..P subalpina 
Flowers yellow-or-oranga™ o. 2) 600 ye Peres he Sette etre aetan snoop teens 50 

Victorian Nat. 


50. Leaves 5-9 mm long and 0.5-3 mm wide, flowers 8-10 mm long (a widespread and 
MET VEvAD RADE STIMU lira se 7) ctlodvetes th ean Ee eee Le. Sil) P. hispidula 
Leaves 10-23 mm long and 0.5-2 mm wide, flowers 10-14 mm long ........ 5] 

51. Flowers inconspicuous, overtopped and + hidden by the leaves (uncommon plant 
restricted-toscoastal dunes andsclnfs) 43:4 1ne.: otek o.oo, P. canaliculata 
Flowers conspicuous, not hidden by the leaves...............000.2--000e $2 

52. Leaves usually (1 mm wide, margins tightly inrolled, upper surface rarely visible 

Rete ee te eon, ieee te oe ete ls Meas ids alee wh P. mollis (widespread form) 
Leaves )1 mm wide, margin inrolled but upper surface visible ............ §3 

53. Bracteoles 2.5-3.5 mm wide, longer than calyx tube and usually as long as whole 
EE Eb cee incrin ewe etary 1A Ary tol Pos MOR th viene AWA tT es ae P. viscosa 
Bracteoles up to 2 mm wide and about as long as calyx tube........ P. mollis 

(some forms from southern Grampians and Portland) 

Index to previous Pultenaea articles 

Species Victorian Naturalist 
Vol. page date 

AGENOSHE hes BY. yOX, BELtM: 2.4. ones tere. Phcuensmedhh vet eded sede, 95: 188-190 (1978) 
ATISSiIn sh. Mitel exe Benth +: f..tesscre ces eddledcasancaeee adel, 97: 217-221 (1980) 
MCHA MIME Wl pee a sy, ake, ederes te etry satvitotel toe es cewton ew cals 101: 166-167 (1984) 
CATA CMA Lats VALCl ie MrCet acer les hep as ess asetedeleaeheaeabineetes 93: 250-252 (1976) 
Capltellata-micber cx Geass plete sitesteiacivatoereaeleretes 97: 217-221 (1980) 
COStACA MW TINTATFISOU cea ote dee pov oe tesa oh Oa aN ales aa dee 95: 188-190 (1978) 
cunninghamii (Benth.) 94: 112-114 (1977) 
rakeadivoravubsl a Diwan (LPona kt) seesee eee: hoes pecod ack eae cceeact 100: 207-210 (1983) 
GaP MMOL SSBWeNG lini cops ee seay ee oe aoe ta erin nek se peas eaed 93: 178-179 (1976) 
CETISIFOMSORINITICN ci 5.o acd beatetostessatsocens aaantashiaetenarnys 100: 55- 58 (1983) 
entataelss Dil eeyresnss. ee ucete keh ae sigh ots ed oats aces 94: 198-200 (1977) 
PASCICIMATAE HEMI, Vaossadetsocentacshesancesocdevener arts cnehpersasel 98: 42- 44 (1981) 
foliolosamtedinn sexe WSU saa, yah staan eames ac cancecdleadas os te 95: 92- 94 (1978) 
STAVE SITS ALC eeg sd Beas Px eAcaes Cia Lap batacdebisderohetedansedea~ iets 98: 42- 44 (1981) 
TIMINE AGH IAT elt. cscs as tees eterno. vocal see sataer wseqputa neers 94: 26- 28 (1977) 
Kibbertinidese DT GOK 7.) si vecate nssencetiwcugpnaeene gestae = P. mollis 
hispidtila ReBr cetedsacentscessegsvsgecdasitiascaveste 104: 141-144 (1987) 
Utils: Bent he Cex= MOO Ks ch. acapedurredessose aeieescees sues 97: 19- 22 (1980) 
fUrIpebirie: Papi Mei etm cksecsseiesaa ee eealesiansnesasaestecees 95: 56- 58 (1978) 
JargitlorenS IVIL, exBenthy, 354; 10) ean oh conse ws roe ebectcks 94: 148-151 (1977) 
Hare THLOLA SCL Ty tas hea sesteac knee ivaseeese heh oi picwshe orsehs teens sees 94: 148-151 (1977) 
TinophyllaScHrader-.....ccas.c.ateer sens cere rttnnsdpatersacateeaias 97: 154-156 (1980) 
Paehiinanmil WiAlGeHi ee sats sels coat ehe tert hateatuepcdeay sean ete aees 101: 119-122 (1984) 
MIATCEN TO ROAC CLs pores APLY hE Ess on noses npleochss ateceasate ster s 104: 64- 68 (1987) 
innvorl biel Byhavel (2a'ee Shot egy eee tr torr ee pCEe Sere tts ce Or Ke PAPE Lee 105: 36- 40 (1988) 
PMG SHABE Mie nate euaclct se eeecee te este ramtahentisssg nee sen cease 95: 28- 30 (1978) 
Palencea Wilds if isisssacecensnccverstesseteaeseyfeV esas cnmesernes 97: 151-153 (1980) 
Paludosa JTHOMPSOMN ..............0csssaasedeseeoedecceessencress 95: 26- 28 (1978) 
patellifolia H Williamson ............ccccceeeeeseeseeeeeensereeeres 100: 55- 58 (1983) 
pedunculata Hook, ....1.......202.eeeesccnteeeanecepesseseeceneeeee 94: 198-200 (1977) 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 103 


Pultenaea cont. 

DlatVpnY Ua Wake prcernccveessee creat soaaeet ria ttennreae st ania 95: 58- 60 (1978) 
polifoliacG Unis ayssouse cremereate reels Menanetcs paseo oun at ee 97: 154-156 (1978) 
pracumbenseGunmwdicg omc morets ets chiens em esleen tte 95: 92- 94 (1978) 
prolifera: AWA aIMSOn sais cee g sect ete y Reema 93: 250-252 (1976) 
Hrostiava: Benth ee val MOO Komeneaaiaieee canna sere raed 94; 68- 70 (1977) 
HELAD yay (AULD LAA WARS ARR AAR AMARC Sofior Gok erty a aot amineke Sate tack 95: 58- 60 (1978) 
SCA TASB amend teey: cess tive st Pees Aes irate eh get eet ay nian 101: 200-203 (1984) 
SUVTCTA «SINS. G rashtar nehthes sind eee oe rcancent heme nee tre Aes 94: 26- 28 (1977) 
SUbal pina CE Muelle DRUG recess css aaeeniete sae caesneset ys 101: 119-122 (1984) 
SUDSDISATANGRNIU Mao crabeatter sae tai ted Mehr hotly were eters 97: 19- 22 (1980) 
SUOUINDElataslO Oki ais eet tay et yok pata aah an re ee ster ees 95: 26- 28 (1978) 
Res GRSVUE EL 51) chy be PMR aren he ary Mert ny Preset BAN AN Heals nc gets 2, ae PE 94: 112-114 (1977) 
CEN WItOlh RI BY. EXONS. cou recias ch sderursaeert erent eeEe terse 94: 68- 70 (1977) 
VESDILAPIR EST. 0d. aeh olive eta ty id uv can ROY othe cee ey arene oe sees 100: 207-210 (1983) 
VISCOSHAR EL MENe GIT Meera Fenmechesee mcutsmetsaeensera sed baa 105: 36- 40 (1988) 
VEO LAM CUNT OM a pykce ita eenies toe mera ccrsbe cere uanrza stoned acess 97: 217-221 (1980) 
WEINGODTETIORGAGEI i pti peri mie a ECCI PMR cMUe eT ey Cogley 97: 217-221 (1980) 
WilliamisOmiamesj) sel. Wallis, hsaer atten ante tains ee reneecery errs 104: 64- 68 (1987) 

] am most grateful to the staff of the National Herbarium of Victoria for 
continued access to the collections and facilities; my special thanks to Jim 
Ross and Don Foreman for advice and assistance with word processing, and 
to David Albrecht for testing the key and making valuable suggestions. 


Victorian Nat. 

Naturalist Notes 

Communal roosting of the Bell Miner 

Manorina melanophrys, Meliphagidae 

Aldo Poiani* 

The Bell Miner (Manorina melanophyrs, 
Meliphagidae) is a co-operatively breeding 
honeyeater (Swainson 1970). Both adult 
and immature birds live in groups in which 
the breeders are assisted in their parental 
duties by one or more helpers-at-the-nest 
(Skutch 1961). 

The social behaviour and the reproduc- 
tive biology of the Bell Miner have been 
intensely studied during the last years 
(Smith and Robertson 1978, Clarke 1988). 
Nevertheless, there are still many aspects 
of the Bell Miner’s social life which are not 
entirely understood. 

Roosting is one of the behaviours we 
completely lack information about. It is 
known that roosting communally is a 
characteristic of several co-operative birds 
eg. White-fronted Bee-eater Merops bull- 
ockoides (Hegner et al. 1982), Stripe- 
backed Wren Campylorhynchus nucalis 
(Zack and Rabenold 1989), Laughing 
Kookaburra Dacelo novaguineae (pers. 
obs.). Moreover, some authors have pro- 
posed that communal roosting has been 
a pre-condition favouring selection for 
helping behaviour in some species (Ligon 
et al. 1988, Glen and Perrins 1988). 

Here I record some field observations 
on roosting in the Bell Miner. 

On 27 June 1989 I was at the Gresswell 
Forest in Bundoora. At 17:00, while I was 
taking down a mist-net with the help of 
G. Paras, we observed a few Bell Miners 
starting to perch on a branch 5 m from us 
and about 2 m high. They initiated roost- 
ing without displaying to each other as 
they do, for instance, when performing a 
corroboree or communal gathering. 

Three birds soon formed a “core” where 
they perched in a line touching each other’s 
body without changing their position for 
the 25 minute period of observation. 

* Department of Zoology, La Trobe University, 
Bundoora Victoria 3083. 

| Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 

There were four other birds in the group. 
Once the core was formed, the other four 
birds started taking positions at the edge 
of the core with frequent changes of side. 
These four birds kept changing side for 
over 25 minutes giving the impression that 
they were competing for an “inner” place, 
a position between two birds. This was 
particularly clear when some bird tried to 
push itself (always unsuccessfully) between 
two birds already perched. Ultimately, at 
17:25 they stopped swapping sides and 
formed a continuous line of seven birds. 

1 was also looking for roosting groups 
in the Sir Colin Mackenzie Zoological 
Park at Healesville in November and 
December 1989. Nevertheless, after search- 
ing in the understorey at night I could not 
find evidence of communal roosting. I did 
flush two roosting Bell Miners from the 
understorey, but both were roosting soli- 

On 24 February 1990 I observed roosting 
behaviour at Healesville at sunset. Some 
of the birds seemed to roost in the same 
shrub, but they were not forming a roost- 
ing line as in the Gresswell Forest. There- 
fore, it is possible that roosting groups 
might be preferentially formed in winter. 

Although the data set available is still 
too meagre to test any hypothesis, it is 
possible that roosting behaviour may 
change during the year since the costs and 
benefits of communal roosting may be 
different from season to season. For 
instance, in winter the birds may get 
benefits in terms of a better thermal 
insulation by means of roosting com- 
munally. In summer, the comparatively 
smaller benefits of increased thermal 
insulation may be outweighed by possible 
costs such as increased transmission of 
ecto-parasites or risk of predation. 

In conclusion, I report here the first 
observation of communal roosting in the 


Naturalist Notes 

Bell Miner. A more detailed study on 
roosting behaviour will throw more light 
on the conditions in which communal 
roosting occurs. Also, it will enable us to 
determine which birds form the core and 
which ones form the edge of the roosting 


lam very grateful to my wife Marisa for 
her continuous support of my research. 
My project on Bell Miners has been finan- 
cially supported by the Department of 
Zoology, La Trobe University, The Sir 
Colin Mackenzie Zoological Park, the 
M.A. Ingram Trust and the Department 
of Conservation and Environment. 


Clarke, M. F. (1988). The reproductive behaviour of 
the Bell Miner Manorina melanophrys. Emu 88: 

Glen, N. W. and Perrins, C. M. (1988). Co-operative 
breeding by Long-tailed Tits. Brit. Birds 81: 

Hegner, R. E., Emlen, S. T. and Demong, N. J. (1982). 
Spatial organization of the White-fronted Bee- 
eater. Nature 298: 264-266. 

Ligon, J. D., Carey, C. and Ligon S. H. (1988). Cavity 
roosting, philopatry, and co-operative breeding 
in the Green Woodhoopoe may reflect a physio- 
logical trait. Auk 105: 123-127. 

Skutch, A. F. (1961). Helpers among birds. Condor 63: 

Smith, A. J. and Robertson, B. I. (1978). Social 
organization of Bell Miners. Evu 78: 169-178. 

Swainson, G. W. (1970). Co-operative rearing in the 
Bell Miner. Emu 70: 183-188. 

Zack, S. and Rabenold, K. N. (1989). Assessment, age 
and proximity in dispersal contests among co- 
operative wrens: field experiments. An. Behav. 
38: 235-247. 


Victorian Nat. 

Naturalist Notes 

A note on Budgerigars in Hamilton 

P. R. Bird* 

Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus) 
are well-known parrots of the inland which 
often migrate south to the higher rainfall 
areas. Flocks regularly appear in the little 
Desert National Park in early October and 
depart after the breeding season, usually 
in early March (National Parks Service, 
1979). They are an occasional visitor to the 
Grampians area (McCann, 1982). The 
most southerly records of budgerigars in 
Victoria are at two points, just east and 
west of Hamilton (Emison ef a/. 1987). 

On 9 January 1982 I first observed a 
budgerigar wild-type plumage of green 
and yellow in a River red gum (Eucalyptus 
camaldulensis) woodland on a 5 hectare 
block on the northern boundary of Hamil- 
ton in SW Victoria. Aviary escapees do 
occur at times near towns but this bird did 
not display the signs of a lost bird. I kept 
a record of later sightings and at intervals 
attempted to record numbers present: 

22 November 1983 
12 birds flew from the edge of the central 
27 November 1983 
2 birds feeding on seed heads along the 
4 February 1986 
1 bird in River red gums along the drive. 
26 November 1986 
3 birds feeding on grass heads along 
6 December 1987 
4 birds on native grassland on SE fence. 
10 December 1987 
14 birds roosting in trees near SE fence. 
15 December 1987 
20 birds in trees and feeding in short 
grass in ‘cow’ paddock near SW fence. 
22 December 1987 
25 or more birds in the above general 

* P.O. Box 180, Hamilton, Victoria, 3300. 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 

23 December 1987 
37 birds in the central drive area. 
5 January 1988 
13 birds on NE fence, near mown native 
14 January 1988 
15 birds still feeding on the block. 
27 January 1988 
4 birds counted. 

An unforgettable day was the spectacle 
of 37 feathered gems drifting from the 
trees, through shafts of afternoon sunlight, 
to alight on long stalks of Spear grass. The 
birds usually operated in small groups, 
feeding actively on the seed heads of 
grasses; Spear grass (Stipa spp.) in par- 
ticular, but also Wallaby grass (Danthonia 
spp.) and they appeared also to forage 
among introduced species. The birds were 
not unduly concerned by a cautious 
approach within a few metres. 

Approximately 40% of the 5 hectare 
property had been ungrazed since 1981 to 
encourage regeneration of native grasses, 
including Kangaroo grass (Themeda 
triandra) and Weeping grass (Microlaena 
stipoides). Other portions were either 
slashed or burned (20%) or lightly grazed 
(40%) for fire control purposes, There 
were areas of Yorkshire Fog grass (Holcus 
lanatus) and Barley grass (Hordeum sp.), 
and sparse Onion grass (Romulea rosea), 
Silver grass (Vulpia bromoides), Perennial 
ryegrass (Lolium perenne), Bromus spp. 
and other introductions. Prior to 1981 the 
entire area had been heavily grazed by 
sheep but little fertilizer had been used. 
The recovery of Wallaby grass was spec- 
tacular after grazing was removed but there 
was a drastic reduction in this component, 
and a concomitant increase in Onion grass, 
on fuel reduction areas that were burned 
in summer. Frequent mowing also resulted 
in Onion grass dominance. Themeda was 
encouraged by annual mowing in early 


Naturalist Notes 

summer, with the cutter set high to avoid 
crown damage, but no birds were seen 
feeding on this sparsely-seeded species. 

It appears that the habitat had been 
sufficiently modified to suit ground- 
feeding birds. That was also evident by the 
large numbers of Red-rumped parrots 
(sometimes as many as 100 birds) and 
Eastern rosellas that congregated on the 
block to feed. Another factor was prob- 
ably the presence of a rather dense (50 or 
more trees per hectare) population of River 
red gums of mixed age in the 4 ha of 
wooded area, with adequate access to 
grassland around, and water available 
from troughs, gardens or a dam. Neigh- 
bouring properties add another 5 or more 
hectares of trees, rather more sparsely 
spaced and with more improved pasture, 
and while the budgerigars did spend some 
time there (mainly in the trees), they 
obviously preferred the native pastures. 

Since leaving that location in 1988 I have 
not been able to ascertain whether the 
birds have reappeared. Visits on one oc- 
casion each in the summers of 1989 and 
1990 were fruitless, but my previous experi- 
ence was that they did not spend all of their 
time during the months of Nov-Feb in that 
immediate area. 


Emison, W. B., Beardsell, C. M., Norman, F. I. and 
Loyn, R. H. (1987). “Atlas of Victorian Birds”. 
Ministry of Conservation Forests and Lands and 
Royal Australasian Ornithologists’ Union. 

McCann, I. R. (1982). “Grampian Birds — an illustrated 
checklist”. Published by Halls Gap Tourist 
Information Centre. 

Natonal Parks Service, Victoria (1979). “Birds of Little 
Desert National Park”. 


Victorian Nat. 

Naturalist Notes 

A trip to Nooramunga with the Fauna Survey Group 
Joe Leahy 

The islands of the Nooramunga Coastal 
Park are forever being bullied into shape 
by the elements. Huge, hateful breakers 
batter the islands’ beaches. Squalls surge 
through the arid heathlands of the area. 
Wildfires char plants and their roots, 
allowing the wind to whisk away the fragile 
dunes of the region. 

Within this melee of natural forces some 
of Victoria’s smallest and most timid 
mammals are believed to live. One of the 
rarest of these is the New Holland Mouse. 
The Fauna Survey group visited the area 
last summer in pursuit of the mouse and 
I joined them as a novice. The experience 
proved to be an adventure in both con- 
servation and learning. 

We arrived at McLoughlins Beach in 
South Gippsland amid a fanfare of howl- 
ing winds. It was Boxing Day 1989. At 
l p.m. members of the Fauna Survey 
Group, a division of the Field Naturalists 
Club of Victoria, were to leave here for a 
week in the Nooramunga Coastal Park. 

The former Secretary of the Fauna 
Survey Group, Mr Julian Grusovin, later 
said that this expedition was one of nine 
planned for the period between Easter 
1989 and the end of 1990. The work was 
voluntary. Its aim was to discover exactly 
what animals were living in the park so 
that the Department of Conservation and 
Environment (DC&E) could formulate a 
management plan for the region. This data 
would be taken from sightings, diggings, 
scats, animal remains and the results of 
pitfall, Elliott and cage trapping. 

Less officially, or at least in my mind, 
the aim was to find the rare New Holland 
Mouse. In Victoria the Fauna Survey 
Group was a sort of patron saint to this 

According to Julian Grusovin, the first 
New Holland mice were found in the 
Hunter Valley Region in New South Wales 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 

in the middle of last century. However the 
Victorian New Hollanders eluded natural- 
ists until 1970 when the Mammal Survey 
Group (now the Fauna Survey Group) 
discovered them in the Mornington Pen- 
insula to the immediate south of Mel- 
bourne. Julian said that today the 
Victorian range of the mouse is believed 
to be from Anglesea in south-western 
Victoria to Reeves Beach on the eastern 
fringe of the Nooramunga, 

For habitat the New Holland Mouse 
prefers recently burnt heath. The Noora- 
munga park consists mostly of islands 
making this requirement a problem for the 
survival of these rodents. [fan island is not 
burnt for several years, for instance, a 
colony of New Hollanders living there will 
be without suitable habitat. Unlike their 
counterparts on the mainland they will be 
unable to move to a better area. 

What exotic features make this mouse 
stand out from its colleagues? None. In 
fact, if you saw them foraging in the 
garden you would probably rush to set the 
common mouse trap for them, rather than 
try to catch one live in an Elliott trap, So 
if ever you are in doubt check the tail of 
your captive, If it is a New Holland Mouse 
it should be dark on top and light on the 
bottom. To be extra sure examine the 
offender’s teeth, the New Holland Mouse 
does not suffer from overbite like the 
introduced species and therefore is without 
notches on the inside of its incisors. 

However the mouse was largely my fad 
— the group had much broader interests. 
On previous expeditions to the Noora- 
munga region they had recorded the rare 
Swamp Antechinus (a marsupial carni- 
vore), the Eastern Pigmy Possum, bats, 
water rats, wombats, kangaroos, koala 
bones, echidnas, the Banjo Frog, the 
Jackie Dragon, some snakes and several 
varieties of skink. 


Naturalist Notes 

Sitting in the car at windy McLoughlins 
Beach I knew little of the past activities 
of the group I was to spend the week with, 
All I knew was that they were out to catch 
New Holland Mouse. 

My association with the Fauna Survey 
Group began in early December 1989 
when a friend of mine, a second year 
ecology student at La Trobe University, 
invited me to a meeting to be held that 
night at the Astronomer’s Residence in the 
botanical Gardens, South Yarra. 

Malcolm Turner, a prominent member 
of the group and a biologist with the 
DC&E, had told her that membership 
with the Fauna Survey team could help her 
career. I attended to give her moral 

The air was hot and rich with pollen in 
the Botanical Gardens that night. As we 
trekked through the open parklands yuppy 
cyclists whizzed by in flurries of fluor- 
escent limbs and whirling wheels. 

It was only with difficulty that we 
eventually found the stately Victorian 
residence of the Astronomer — we had been 
searching for a white dome-shaped shed 
with a telescope sticking out of it. 

When the Fauna Survey Group were all 
seated to begin the meeting I surveyed 
them. | suppose I was expecting to see the 
stereotype field nats of old; on the one 
hand the Crosby-Morrison, bushman-type 
naturalists, on the other the English 
country gentleman-type naturalists who 
long ago exchanged their shotguns for 
binoculars and picnic baskets. 

The people before me, however, looked 
more like the congregation of a Catholic 
church. A distinguished old lady occupied 
the front seat. However to my ignorant eyes 
she seemed as though she would be more 
at home judging poodles at the Royal Dog 
Show than scratching in the bush for the 
scats of marsupial rodents. 

Behind her was an elderly gentleman 
whose name I later learnt was Tom Sault, 
a long standing member of the group. 
More than any other present Tom em- 
bodied the bushman-naturalist image. 


However he later told me that he rarely 
sacrificed life’s common comforts while on 
camp. He was known for pulling a little 
campervan on every trip and cooking such 
wonderful meals in it that it became 
known as “Tom’s Restaurant”. 

There was a core of young people in the 
room who all looked as though they had 
done some time at university. They had 
that intangible feeling of leisure about 
them that three or four years of campus 
life installs in people. 

The tall, blonde tradesman Russell 
Thompson was also present. Returning 
from the bush on one occasion I showed 
Russell a slender bone I thought came 
from a horse. Without lifting his eyes from 
the curling steam of the cup of tea he was 
drinking, Russell amiably said, “That’s a 
swan’s thigh bone”. 

My friend’s contact, Malcolm Turner, 
was to provide the main attraction of the 
meeting - a talk and slides about his recent 
adventures which included a trip to Queens- 
land. Malcolm gave a sly grin as he began 
his talk, as if to say, ‘Look how much fun 
I’ve been having”. Physically he looked as 
though he was still in Queensland. While 
the rest of us had perhaps shed one or two 
winter jumpers Malcolm arrived wearing 
shorts and T-shirt. 

As Malcolm showed us his slides the 
room took on a warm and homely feeling. 
I felt at ease with the group as we peered 
eagerly at the curios of nature that Mal- 
colm had captured in his slides; things like 
turtle’s eggs and the great boomerang tails 
of Southern Right Whales which he had 
photographed in the cold sea near Warr- 

Looking around at the naturalists pre- 
sent, their faces illuminated by the slides 
of northern Queensland, I reflected that 
each face was a slide itself, showing a keen 
interest in nature - and occasional disgust 
at Malcolm’s habit of making weak puns. 

Malcolm flicked the slide machine and 
a monster-faced Moray Eel swivelled into 
view. The eel’s head was sticking out of its 
coral lair and was cupped in the hand 

Victorian Nat. 

Naturalist Notes 

of a scuba-diver - Malcolm. As Mal ex- 
plained ‘his relationship with the eel, the 
scene took on the dreamy quality of a 
distant friendship hatched in some far-off 
polyp grove. 

For me Malcolm exuded the love for 
nature that all keen naturalists share. 
When such people discuss the natural 
world it is as though they are talking of 
an old friend. 

I first encountered this relationship 
between the naturalist and the subject of 
his work as a young boy watching Harry 
Butler on TV. You could say that I was 
brought up “In the Wild with Harry 
Butler” because the show gave me many 
of my first insights into the bush. 

Harry’s program left me with two strong 
needs; a desire to understand the natural 
world and an urge to preserve it. As the 
meeting concluded [| felt that this group 
could become the outlet for these needs 
that I had been waiting for. 

Despite this it was still with some re- 
luctance that I put my name down for the 
forthcoming trip to St Margaret’s Island. 
Long camps with family and friends had 
taught me to be suspicious of spending 
time at such close quarters with people | 
had newly met. However the possibility of 
finding the New Holland Mouse lured me 
and I ended up signing to go. 

Nothing went well on the first day of the 
St Margaret Island camp. We carted our 
luggage the one hundred metres or so to 
the end of the McLoughlin’s Beach pier 
under guerilla attack from squall-force 
gusts of wind. 

It was then a matter of waiting for the 
DC&E launch that had been arranged to 
drop us at the island. However the launch 
only stayed long enough for its captain to 
tell us that one of its motors was out and 
that they were not going to risk a trip to 
the island in those conditions. 

We reloaded our cars and drove to the 
McLoughlin’s Beach jetty. This long foot- 
bridge crosses a muddy backwater separat- 
ing part of the Ninety Mile Beach known 
as Reeves Beach from the mainland. 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 

We camped the next few nights in a dell 
behind Reeves Beach, an area, according 
to Malcolm, where New Holland Mouse 
had been found. When the winds even- 
tually died away we emerged from the 
heath, spread our gear across the middle 
of the jetty and again waited for the fateful 
DC&E launch. Standing and sprawling 
forlornly about the breezy jetty we must 
have appeared to the locals like a group 
of refugees. 

However I was learning too much to 
worry about the occasional hardship. I had 
always enjoyed camping and considered 
myself a lover of the bush but a week with 
the Fauna Survey Group soon showed me 
how little I knew of my beloved. 

The group had immense collective 
knowledge. There were science graduates 
like Eva Demetriadus, Sarah Brown, Karen 
Lester and Malcolm Turner on the trip. 
Jenny Chappill had a Ph.D in Eucalypt 
Taxonomy. Russell Thompson was, of 
course, great with bones and Wendy 
Clarke was partial to spiders. Whatever the 
field there were people in the team who 
knew something about it. 

As one of several novices in the group 
I was made to feel welcome. When an 
animal was caught the experienced people 
were happy to explain the creature to us 
and answer our questions. 

Without complaint everyone who felt 
the need set about the often difficult tasks 
before them. There were pitfall lines to be 
filled in and new ones to be dug. There 
were traps to be set, 10 to a person, and 
bat mist nets to be checked at regular 
intervals before bed. And of course there 
were morning and night swims to be had 
on the island’s pristine beaches (that is, 
when we did get to the island). 

At night Malcolm took us spotlighting 
into a grove thick with spiny Grass-trees 
and saw-leafed Banksia. We were looking 
for pigmy possums. However our quest 
for these animals ran like an episode of 
“Scooby Doo”, the children’s cartoon of 
the seventies. Whenever Malcolm stopped 
those in the darker back ranks would keep 


Naturalist Notes/Reviews 

walking and the result was a multi-person 
pile-up. If someone thought they had seen 
something ten torches would instantly spot 
the area of the sighting, accompanied by 
a hubbub of excited voices. 

However throughout it all the New 
Holland Mouse still eluded us. On our 
second last night at St Margaret’s, Mal- 
colm, myself, my ecologist friend and 
some others boated and waded from St 
Margaret’s to nearby Hummock Island. 
We went to the island to catch bats but | 
knew that Malcolm had set some ground 
traps there previously. These traps were my 
last hope of seeing the party-pooping 
mouse on this trip. 

We got the nets up after dusk and re- 
laxed beside a small fire. The word must 
have been out among the bats and there- 
fore we did not catch any. The next day we 

hoisted our ridiculously over-stocked 
packs and made our way through dense 
Ttree to the beach, There was one more 
task we had to do before we left the Noo- 
ramunga Coastal Park, check the traps. 

The cage traps produced one or two 
Swamp Rats. The only traps that had not 
been checked were the pitfall lines. The 
first pitfall yielded a tiny Swamp Rat, 
huddled like a furry egg in the cover pro- 
vided in the trap. The second contained a 
House Centipede, The third contained a 
little, big-eared . . . mouse! 

Malcolm lent over and picked the rodent 
up, its small, shivering body dwarfed by 
his hand. Turning to me he said, ‘You may 
not want to watch this . . ?” My hopes 
of seeing the New Holland Mouse were 
dashed. The victim was a common house 
mouse, vermin, and had to be destroyed. 

Tape Review 
Calls of Victorian frogs 
Recorded and narrated by Murray Littlejohn 
Compiled and mixed by Duncan Smith 
Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne 

Most naturalists are familiar with the 
calls of a number of common birds, and 
(often subconsciously) use the calls as a 
means of identification. The calls of some 
of our noisier mammals, such as the 
bellow of the Koala and the indescribable 
rattle of the Brush-tailed Possum, are 
equally well known. But when it comes to 
frogs, the whistles, trills, barks, growls, 
squelches and pionks are little more than 
background noise for most people. The 
frogs perceive it all differently of course. 
These sounds are their advertisement calls, 
which are given only by males, allowing 
females to distinguish and locate males of 
their own species, and discouraging ap- 
proaches by rival males. 

With the handy acoustic guide produced 
by Littlejohn and Smith, anyone can learn 


to eavesdrop on these anuran nighclubs 
and confidently identify the species re- 
sponsible for each call. The tape contains 
35 recordings, covering all but one of the 
34 species likely to be found in Victoria, 
plus two extra recordings for two species, 
that show marked geographical variation. 
A good recording of the missing species, 
the rare and threatened Spotted Tree Frog, 
Litoria spenceri, was not obtained until 
after this tape had been compiled. The 
recordings are of a generally high standard. 
All were recorded in the field, and have a 
pleasing natural quality by virtue of the 
hubbub created by other frogs and some- 
times crickets nearby. If you listen closely 
you may also detect human voices, and 
even a distant train. 

Victorian Nat. 


The cover notes list the scientific and 
suggested common names of each species, 
their distribution within eight Victorian 
biotic provinces and the months in which 
they call. There is also a short discussion 
of the biological function of advertisement 

The commentary, by Murray Littlejohn, 
introduces the species featured in each 
selection by common and scientific name, 
and lists the species in the background. 
Disappointingly, the commentary gives no 
description of the call. Although the 
background calls rarely intrude, on some 
selections (e.g. the Common Spadefoot 
Toad, Neobatrachus sudelli) there is room 
for confusion which could be avoided if 
the distinctive features of the call were 
given. Littlejohn wisely avoided giving 
onomatopoeic descriptions, which might 
have become, as in the analogous case of 
bird calls, far more impressive for the feats 
of imagination needed to interpret them 
than they are for their benefits to field 
recognition. Which bird goes ‘wheat wheat 
wheat WHITTLE,, for example? However, 
a brief description can be useful when it 
acts mnemonically, allowing the listener to 
recall the name of a species even when the 
tape has been left at home. The narration 

goes some of the way towards this for a 
couple of species, telling us for example 
that the call of the Victorian Smooth 
Froglet, Geocrinea victoriana, is given in 
two parts, but not adding that it is a drawn- 
out creaking sound followed by a series of 
short pips, or that the closely-related and 
sometimes sympatric Southern Smooth 
Toadlet, G. laevis, leaves off the pipping 
sequence. Why not mention that the 
northern call race of the Spotted Marsh 
Frog, Limnodynastes tasmaniensis, 
sounds like a machine-gun, that a chorus 
of Pobblebonk Frogs, Limnodynastes 
dumerili, give a good imitation of an 
arpeggio on a banjo, or that Peron’s Tree 
Frog, Litoria peroni, produces a ‘maniacal 

This criticism aside, the tape is a valu- 
able aid to the fledgling (or metamor- 
phling) frogger, as well as to the more 
experienced listener in an unfamiliar area. 
At present it is available only from the 
Department of Zoology, University of 
Melbourne. At a price of $10.00 it is 
excellent value. Play it in the car on the way 
to your favourite pond. 

Graeme Coulson 
Institute of Education 
University of Melbourne 

Prophetic words 

“But perhaps the most interesting of the younger associations is that of the Field 
Naturalists, whose main delight it is to go abroad in company, to visit such districts 
as are likely to yield a harvest to the devotees of the hammer, of the net, or of the dredge; 
to the collector of plants or the sticker of insects. Their most notable ramble was that 
in which they were landed from a steamer on King’s Island, and overhauled that isolated 
region to carry back their various trophies of fauna, or flora, or mineralogy. The monthly 
evening meeting of these Field Naturalists is full of interest; each is so zealous about 
his own department, and all contribute so largely to the store of exhibits that crowd 
the tables. From these amateur enthusiasts there ought to spring the material for excellent 

research in future years?’ . 
From Victoria and its metropolis: past and present, 1888. 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 113 


E.N.CV. Library report 1989-90 

Our library is still in storage, with con- 
sequent curtailment of service to members. 
Periodicals have been available at General 
meetings, together with some new books. 
Thirty titles have been added to stock this 
year, including Flora of Australia V3; 
Fauna of Australia V1A and 1B; Zoo- 
logical catalogue of Australia V.6 and V.7; 
D.L. Jones: Native orchids of Australia; 
Mackness: Prehistoric Australia. We ack- 
nowledge the receipt of a number of review 
copies from publishers, amongst which 
were three titles from the Australian Nat- 
ural History series, published by New 
South Wales University Press: Triggs: The 
wombat; Reilly: The lvrebird and New: 
Associations between insects and plants. 

The main beneficiaries from the lib- 
rary’s resources have been people seeking 
information about early members of the 
Club, most notably Charles French, whose 
great-great-grandson, Michael Jennings, 
contacted us. Charles French, who was the 
Government Entomologist, is buried in 
Cheltenham Old Cemetery, in an un- 
marked grave. Michael intends to remedy 
this, with a plaque indicating his great- 
great-grandfather’s achievements, and 
Council has requested that the fact that 
Charles French was the founder of the 
EN.C\. should also be included. 

Other enquires concerned Daniel 
Sullivan, a schoolteacher at Moyston in the 
Grampians from 1868-1894, who was 
elected to the Club in 1881; and James File 
Bailey (not John, as stated in his obituary 
notice in the Victorian Naturalist V.1. 
1884), whose interests were palaeontology 
and conchology, and who met an untimely 


death from pneumonia after being caught 
by the tide at Frankston while in the 
pursuit of his hobby. He was Club Lib- 
rarian in 1883-84. We are grateful to Mrs 
Loris Hornbuckle for a photograph of her 

Film Australia sought information 
about the removal of koalas from Quail 
Island in 1943 for a documentary by Paul 
Scott, Koalas - the Bear Facts, to be shown 
on TV this year. 

The bulk of the Club’s archives and 
historical material up to 1890 has now been 
listed. The photograpic collection, ranging 
from albums to individual photographs, 
now contains 80 listed items. Dr J.H. Ross 
has agreed to make available to the Club 
space in the Herbarium library for a filing 
cabinet in which to store this material. We 
appreciate his co-operation in this matter, 
and also that of the librarian, Helen Cohn. 
Plans for rehousing the library are still very 
much in the melting pot, but we look 
forward to a satisfactory resolution of this 
problem during the coming year. 

| would like to thank Olive O’Hagan for 
continuing under difficulties to record the 
arrival of periodicals. 

Sheila Houghton 
Hon. Librarian 

The Montmorency Field Naturalists 
Club meets on the second Friday of each 
month, 8 pm at the Salvation Army Hall, 
Flodden Way, Briar Hill (Melway 21 C2). 
Visitors welcome. 
Enquiries: Elaine Braby, ph. 439 9015. 

Victorian Nat. 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

In which is incorporated the Microscopical Society of Victoria 
Established 1880 
Repistered Olfice: FNC'V, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra, 3141. 

OBJECTS: To stimulate interest in natural history and to preserve 
and protect Australian fauna and flora. 
Members include beginners as well as experienced naturalists. 

His Excellency, The Rev Dr John Davis McCaughey, The Governor of Victoria. 
Key Office-Bearers 1989-1990 
Vice President: Mv, ARTIWUR FARNSWORTH, FNCY, National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, 
South Yarra, 3141 
Hon, Secretary: Mr, JULIAN GRUSOVIN, | Warriner Court, Hast Oakleigh, 3166, (543 8627 A...) 
Hon, Treasurer; My, BRUCE ABBOTT, 4/597 Orrong Road, Armadale, 3143, (529 4301 A.HL.) 

Subscription Secretary: Ms DIANNE CHAMBERS, FNCY, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood 
Avenue, South Yarra, 314d, 

Editors: ROBY N WATSON and TIM OFFOR, ENCY, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, 
South Yarra, S141 (419 9532), 

Librarian: Mrs, SABILA HOUGEETON, ENCY, c% National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, South 
Yarra, A141 

Acting Excursion Secretary, DOROTIY MALILER (850 9379 A.FL.). 

Conservation Co-ordinator: Mr. WIL. ASHBURNER, National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, 
South Yarra, 3141, 

Sales Officer (Victorian Naturalistonly): My, DE. MeINNES, 129 Waverley Road, Kast Malvern, 
VWAS (SAL 2427) 

Publicity Officer: Miss MARGARET POPTER, 1/249 Highfield Road, Burwood, 3125. (889 2779). 

Group Secretaries 
Botany: Miss MARGARET POTTER, 1/249 Highfield Road, Burwood, 3125 (889 2779), 
Day Croup: Mr. D. . MeINNES, 129 Waverley Road, Fast Malvern, 3145 (S41 2427) 
Geology: Miss HELEN BARTOSZEWICZ, 16 Euroa Avenue, Nth, Sunshine, 3020 (311 5106 A.A.) 
Fauna Surveys Mr, JULIAN GRUSOVIN, | Warriner Court, Bast Oakleigh, 3166, ($43 8627 A.H,) 
Microscopical: Mts. ELSIE GRAHAM, 147 Broadway, Reservoir, 3073 (469 2509) 
Membership of the P.N.C\Y, is open to any person interested in natural history, The Victorian 

Naturalist is distributed tree to all members, the club's reference and lending library is available 
and other activities are indicated in reports set out in the several preceding pages of this magazine. 

Subscription rates for 1990 

Metropolitan Members (O03 area code) $27 
Joint Metropolitan $30 
Country/Interstate members $24 
Joint Country/Interstate members $27 
Concessional rate (Students/pensioners) (proof of entitlement required) $20 
Joint Concessional $23 
Junior (under 18; No Victorian Naturalist) : ,  o8 
Clubs $28 
Subscription to Victorian Naturalist ‘ .. $30 
Overseas Subscription to Vietorian Naturalist $35 Aust, 
Individual Journals , " cre. 



Vol. 107 (4) August 1990 

Published by The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 
since 1884 


General Meetings 
Held on the second Monday of the month (except for public holidays), 8.00 p.m. 
at the National Herbarium Hall, corner of Birdwood Avenue and Dallas Brooks Drive, 
South Yarra. Meetings include a talk by a guest speaker. All members of the public 
are welcome. 

Monday, 8th October Monday, 12th November 
Gannets of the oceans. Reproduction in Echinoderms. 
Mary Doery. Mark O’Loughlin. 

Monday, 10th December 
“Presentation of Natural History Medallion” to Mrs Ellen McCulloch will be held at 
the Royal Society Hall at 8.00 pm. (Corner of Victoria and Exhibition Sts). 

FNCV Excursions 
For further information on excursions contact Dorothy Mahler (850 9379 A.H.). 

29th September-5th October Sunday 4th November 
Gypsy Point. Contact Marie Allender Courtney’s Road Lysterfield by car. 
if you are interested (527 2749). Melways 84 D7. Cars meet at reserve at 
Sunday 7th October 10.30 a.m. 
Cranbourne annexe of the Botanical Sunday 2nd December 
Gardens. Private transport. Brisbane Ranges. Bus leaves Batman 
Ring Pat Carolan (592 5552) if you Avenue 9.30 a.m. Leader: Peter Kelly, on 
require a lift. beetles. Cost $18.50. 

Group Activities 
Botany Group 

Group Meetings (second Thursday) 

Thursday 13th September Thursday 8th November 
Victoria’s Rainforests. David Cameron. Botanical ramblings in France. 
Thursday 11th October Mary Doery. 

Oranges and Boronias. The family 
Rutaceae. Hilary Weatherhead. 

Saturday 27th October Saturday 24th November 
Rare grassland plants. Establishment Hotchkins Ridge Flora Reserve, 
program at Skipton. Leader: Neville Croydon North. Leader: Cecily 
Scarlett. Falkingham. 

Sunday 28th October 
FNCV Cosslick Reserve and Paddy’s 
Range. Contact M. Potter (889 2779). 

Microscopial Group 
Group Meetings (Third Wednesday) 
Wednesday 17th October Wednesday, 21st November 
The Scanning Electron Microscope. The video camera and the microscope. 
Christine Ashburner. Taken by Gary Richardson. 

Volume 107 (4) 



August, 1990 

Editors: Tim Offor and Robyn Watson. 



Naturalist Notes 


Book Reviews 


ISSN 0042-5184 

What future for the sandy heaths of Wilson’s Promontory? by 

LVI OY (ROU Cc Aennak ka die CAR BEAR OLOD AEC RAPS Tue A OEE Le he oe 120 
First record of An Australian Sea Lion on the eastern Australian 

COASIE Va MON RIEU TL ates 4 SI e een AEE Sen ails fetta 124 
Examination of a gastropod radula, by Jan D. Endersby.............. 126 
The ascent of Mt William, by J. A. D. Blackburn ..........0..0. 0.0000 128 
The search for Helicarion niger, by Karen van Kuyk .....0..00.00000005 130 

“‘The new museum on the South Bank’’. Speaker: Dr J.M. 
BOMTE BDV ONO LASCITICIOCL | hn lea .cvadae Ses sate cia tae tp 8g rates idencer, ee 132 

“Tasmanian sea shells common to other Australian states” by 
Margaret H. Richmond. Reviewed by R. C. Kershaw ..........0...0.4. 134 

“The Mornington Peninsula - A field guide to the flora, fauna 
and walking tracks” by IIma Dunn, Stephannie Rennick and 
Caroline Grayley. Reviewed by J. H. WiIliS 0.0... ..ccccccceccceecveveseses 135 

Revised Appendix for Lindenmayer ef a/ (1989). Victorian Nat. 
106: 117-8 

Cover photo: The South Serra Range and Isolate Spur viewed from Mt William. 

(See the article on Major Mitchell’s ascent on p. 128). 


What future for the sandy heaths of Wilson’s Promontory? 
Tim Offor* 

The heath communities of Wilson's 
Promontory are disappearing. Where once 
there were diverse heath floras there are 
now, in many places, depauperate closed 
scrubs of Kunzea ambigua (White Kunzea) 
and Leptospermum laevigatum (Coast 
Tea-tree). Where heath remains it is often 
old and senescent, with dead or dying 
Allocasurarina pusilla (Dwarf She-oak) 
and areas of bare ground, 

The sandy heath communities are gen- 
erally low growing (( 1m) and are dom- 
inated by Allocasuarina pusilla (Dwarf 
She-oak) and Leptospermum myrsinoides 
(Heath Tea-tree). Other common shrubs 
of the heath include Banksia marginata 
(Silver Banksia), Hakea sericea (Bushy 
Needlewood), Epacris impressa (Common 
Heath), Jsopogon ceratophyllus (Horny 
Cone-bush) and Correa reflexa (Common 
Correa). The heath communities share 
many species in common with the low 
open forest communities into which they 
often grade, but they lack the eucalypt 
canopy of the forests. 

As long as 40 years ago scientists noticed 
that the sandy coastal heaths of Wilson’s 
Promontory, at the southern most tip of 
Victoria, were diminishing. Leptosper- 
mum laevigatum was invading the heaths 
from the coastal dunes to seaward. At the 
same time Kunzea ambigua was invading 
from nearby hillsides, moving from the dry 
forests of the rocky slopes into the heaths 
below, Slowly the heaths were disappear- 
ing beneath dense Kunzea and Lepto- 
spermum scrubs. 

There have long been debates about 
whether or not the invasion of the heath 
by K. ambigua and L. laevigatum is a 
‘natural’ or a human influenced process, 
Asa corollary to this there has been debate 

*School of Botany, University of Melbourne, 
Parkville, 3052. 


on whether action should be taken to inter- 
yene and try to arrest and reverse the in- 
vasion process or whether nature should 
be left to take its course. In the meantime 
the invasion of the heaths has continued. 

A great advantage that both Leprosper- 
mum laevigatum and Kunzea ambigua 
have over the heath species is the height 
to which they can grow on the sandy coast- 
al soils. In a 0,5-1.0 m high heath, K. 
ambigua is able to grow to 2.0-2.5 m (Judd 
1990), L. laevigatum is able to grow even 
taller on these sandy soils. Such a height 
advantage means that the heath species are 
easily overtopped by K. ambigua and L. 
laevigatum which often form a dense 
canopy, greatly reducing the amount of 
light reaching the shorter statured heath 
species. Sometimes it is possible to find a 
spindly A/locasuarina pusilla amongst the 
Kunzea thicket, a struggling survivor from 
the invaded heath community. 

Since the decline of the heathlands has 
generally been a gradual process, people 
are often unaware just how much the 
vegetation of Wilson’s Promontory has 
changed over the last few decades. Many 
people are surprised to learn that much of 
the dense Leptospermum laevigatum scrub 
surrounding Tidal River camping ground 
was once low heath. The only reminders 
are a few scattered heath plants on sunny 
banks where the ground has been 
disturbed and the dense L. /aevigatuin 
overstorey removed. The increased light, 
warmth and moisture has stimulated the 
germination of seeds which have remained 
dormant in the soil for decades. 

The response of the heath community 
to fire 

Dr. Terry Judd of the University of Mel- 
bourne has been researching the ecology 
of Kunzea ambigua and Leptospermum 
laevigatum for the past six years. ““Both 

Victorian Nat. 


Kunzea ambigua and Leptospermum 
laevigatum are readily killed by fire. In the 
absence of fire both species have the ability 
to invade undisturbed plant communities, 
often forming thick scrubs which contain 
very few other plant species”. So it seems 
that it is fire that holds the key to the state 
of the heathlands at Wilson’s Promontory. 
Fire is an integral part of Australian 
heath communities (Specht 1979). The 
high levels of volatile oils contained in the 
foliage of the dominant species renders 
them highly flammable. As a result the 
plants of Australian heathlands are well 
adapted to fire. Some species such as 
Banksia marginata and Hakea nodosa are 
bradysporous, that is they have their seed 
protected by woody fruit so that even 
though the plant may be killed by fire, the 
seed will survive to germinate, grow and 
produce a new generation of plants. Other 
| species are able to survive a fire by poss- 
essing an underground source of buds in 
bulbs, rhizomes or lignotubers (synony- 
mous with the ‘mallee root’ of the mallee 
) cucalypts). The destruction of the above 
} ground parts of the plant triggers the 
growth of the dormant buds and the plants 
| rapidly regenerate. 
In the years immediately following a 
| fire, the diversity of plant species in a 
heathland will increase. Posamentier ef al. 
) (1981) found that the number of species in 
a coastal heath at Nadgee Nature Reserve, 
N.SM. reached a maximum 4 years after 
| a fire, after which it slowly declined. As 
| the heathland ages some species will slowly 
disappear from the heath, represented only 
) by their dormant seeds in the soil “seed 
| bank’. Dominant species such as 
| Allocasuarina pusilla and Leptospermum 
myrsinoides senesce and gaps begin to 
| open up in what was previously a dense 
shrub layer. So it seems that fire is an 
| important factor for maintaining high 
| species diversity in heath communities. 
Prior to European settlement, Wilson’s 
| Promontory had long been inhabited by 
| Aboriginal tribes. The many shell middens 

| Vol. 107 No. 4 (1990) 

along the coast are reminders of their 
presence in the area. We cannot be certain 
of the fire regime prior to European settle- 
ment, but we do know that Aborigines 
used fire to drive game, clear undergrowth 
and produce new growth to attract game 
(Recher and Christensen 1981). It is there- 
fore probable that fire was a common 
feature in the plant communities at Wil- 
son’s Promontory during this time. 

It may take 4 years or more following 
a fire for the fuel load in a heathland to 
build up enough to carry another fire 
(Specht, Rayson and Jackman 1958) so it 
is unlikely that the heaths were burnt more 
often that at 4 to 5 year intervals. The fire 
control measures used in recent times by 
Government authorities to protect Wil- 
son’s Promontory from wildfires have 
undoubtedly reduced the frequency of 
fires. Many of the heaths have not been 
burnt for 30-40 years, during which time 
the number of species present would have 
markedly decreased, Specht e¢ al. (1958) 
found that 20 years following a fire, the 
number of species present in a South 
Australian sandy heath had decreased 
from a maximum of 36 species to 20 
species. They predicted that probably only 
10 of the original 36 would persist after 50 

Some scientists who have studied the 
heaths of Wilson’s Promontory have pro- 
posed that it was frequent fires that kept 
Kunzea ambigua and Leptospermum 
laevigatum out of these heathlands (D.H. 
Ashton pers. comm; Burrel 1969; Judd 
1990). There is some evidence for this 
occuring in heaths at Nadgee, N.SW. 
When these heaths were protected from 
fire they became overgrown by shrubs and 
were invaded by eucalypts (Recher and 
Christensen 1981), 

Both L. /aevigatum and K, ambigua 
produce huge quantities of seed with up 
to 10 000 seeds falling on 1 m? of ground 
in one year (Judd 1990), Leptospermum 
laevigatum has woody capsules that 
protect the seed from the intense heat of 



Kunzea ambigua and Leptospermum laevigatum invading heathland behind Squeaky 
Beach at Wilson’s Promontory. The Kunzea is in the foreground (tall shrub, right) and 
dominates the slopes in the background. A row of L. /aevigatum is in the middle distance. 

a fire. Following the fire the valves of the 
capsules Open and musses of fine seeds are 
released. The seed of Aunzea ambigua 
accumulates in the soil in the absence of 
fire and great numbers of seedlings can 
germinate following fire. Itis also possible 
that the fleshly capusles of A. ambigua 
would protect at least some of the seeds 
from a fire of moderate intensity (Judd 
1990). It is the dependence of L. /aeviga- 
fumand A. ambigua on regeneration from 
seed that might be exploited for controlling 
their presence in the heath community, 

Research and management of heathlands 

It is only in recent times that fire has 
been used as a management tool for man- 
ipulating species composition of heath- 
lands to fulfill conservation objectives. A 
collaborative research project between the 
Botany Department of the University of 
Melbourne and the Department of Con- 
servation and Environment is currently 
investigating the use of fire to eradicate 


Kunzea ambigua and Leptospermum 
laevigatum trom the coastal heathlands of 
Wilson’s Promontory. The objectives of 
the research project are Lo study the effect 
of repeated burning and season of burn 
on K, ambigua and L. laevigatum presence 
in the heathlands. 

An area of severely invaded heathland 
between Picnic Bay and Squeaky Beach 
has been divided up into five sections for 
the study. The flora of each section has 
been thoroughly surveyed by the 2nd year 
Ecology students prior to any burning 
taking place. The Fauna Survey Group of 
the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria will 
survey the fauna of each section prior to 
burning and for many years after to de- 
termine the effect of the fires on the fauna. 

The first fire is planned for spring 1990 
when two sections will be burnt, The 
second will be in autumn when two more 
will be burnt, One section is being left 
unburnt as a control. It is expected that 
there will be massive regeneration of 

Victorian Nat. 


K. ambigua and L. laevigatum following 
the fires. In 3-5 years time one spring and 
one autumn burnt section will be burnt a 
second time. The timing of these second 
burns is very important since they must 
occur before K. ambigua and L. laevig- 
atum have reached reproductive maturity 
and carry viable seed. 

It may take years before the results of 
this research can be incorporated into 
management strategies for the coastal 
heaths. There are many questions to be 
answered. Will there be enough fuel for a 
burn within the required 3-5 years? Will 
two fires be sufficient to eradicate K. 
ambigua from the heath or will its soil seed 
store produce another crop of seedlings 
after the second fire? What other seed 
dependent species will be lost as a result 
of the double burning? Can the existing 
K. ambigua and L. laevigatum scrubs be 
returned to heathland? One thing, how- 
ever, is for certain. If nothing is done to 
arrest the invasion, the heaths of Wilson’s 
Promontory will continue to disappear 
beneath dense scrubs. A sad fate for a 
fascinating part of our natural landscape. 


Burrel, J. P. (1969). The invasion of coastal heathlands 
of Victoria by Lepfospermum laevigatum. Ph.D 
Thesis. University of Melbourne. 

Judd, T. S. (1990). The ecology and water relations of 
the invasive shrubs, Kunzea ambigua (sm.) Druce, 
Kunzea ericoides (A. Rich) J. Thompson and 
Leptospermum laevigatum (J. Gaertn) F. Muell. 
Ph.D Thesis. University of Melbourne. 

Posamentier, H. G., Clark, S.S., Hain, D. L. and 
Recher, H. F, (1981). Succession following wildfire 
in coastal heathland (Nadgee Nature Reserve 
N.SMW.). Aust. J. Ecol. 6: 165-175. 

Recher, H. F. and Christensen, P. E. (1981). Fire and 
the evolution of the Australian biota. Jn Eco- 
logical Biogeography of Australia. Ed. A. Keast. 
(Junk: The Hague). 

Specht, R. L. (1979). The sclerophyllous (heath) vege- 
tation of Australia: The Eastern and Central 
States. Jn Ecosystems of the World 9A. 
Heathlands and related shrublands. Ed. R. L. 
Specht. (Elsevier: New York). 

Specht, R. L., Rayson, P. and Jackman, M. E. (1957). 
Dark Island Heath (Ninety-mile Plain, South 

Vol. 107 No. 4 (1990) 

Australia). Vl. Pyric succession: Changes in 
composition, coverage, dry weight, and mineral 

nutrient status. Aust. J. Bot. 6: 59-88. 



First record of an Australian Sea Lion on the 
eastern Australian coast 
W. N, Fulton* 

The Australian Sea Lion 

The Australian Sea Lion (Neophoca cin- 
erea) is one of the world’s rarest sea lions, 
with a population estimated at 3,000 to 
§,000 (King 1983). 

Neophoca cinerea is presently found 
only in Australian waters, from Houtman 
Abrolhos in Western Australia to Robe in 
the south east of South Australia, as shown 
in Fig. | (Walker and Ling 1981; Ling, 
personal communication 1990), Addition- 
ally, it should be noted, there are reports 
of old males being seen as far east as 
Portland in Victoria, The species breeds 
on offshore islands, in a slightly more 
restricted range. A skull was collected from 
Cape Barren Island in the Furneaux Group 
in Bass Strait in 1973, however it was quite 
old and may have lain on the beach for 
many years. In 1798 Matthew Flinders not- 
ed sea lions on several small islands of this 
group (Marlow and King 1974). 

Birdie Beach Sighting 

At about 10 a.m. on 22nd December, 
1989 a seal, 2.24m in length, hauled out 
on the northern end of Birdie Beach 
(33°13'S, 151°35’E) in the Munmorah 
State Recreation Area, between Sydney 
and Newcastle, New South Wales, It was 
later identified from photographs as a 
male Neophoca cinerea. 

Subsequent enquiries to a number of 

museums, and to the National Parks and 
Wildlife Service and other recognised 
authorities, reveal no known prior sighting 

of N. cinerea on the eastern coast of 


The National Parks and Wildlife Ser- 
vice, with the assistance of volunteers from 
ORRCA (Organisation for the Rescue and 

* W.N, Fulton, ORRCA Ine., 
4 Coree Road, Artarmon 2064. 


Research of Cetaceans in Australia), cor- 
doned off the area to minimise disturbance 
to the animal. 

The seal had three fresh-looking (but 
somewhat infected) oval-shaped wounds 
on its left ventral surface, consistent with 
bites inflicted by the Cookie-cutter Shark 
(Isistius brasiliensis), and gave every 
appearance of exhaustion. For several days 
its only movements were progressively up 
the beach to avoid being lapped by waves, 
and down again with the tide to cooler 
sand. There was little reaction when we ap- 
proached, or even when we once touched 
its tail. 

The teeth were yellowed, chipped and 
worn, suggestive of an old animal. Not- 
withstanding its exhausted state, the seal 
appeared to have excellent condition, as 
can be seen from the photograph (Fig. 2). 

We sprayed its wounds several times a 
day with an aerosol of Chloromide anti- 
septic, and observed an apparent lessen- 
ing in the infection. Apart from that, we 
disturbed it as little as possible. 

Fig. 1. Present-day range of Neophoca 
cinerea (after Walker and Ling 1981), 

Victorian Nat. 


Fig. 2. The Australian Sea Lion at Birdie 

On Christmas Day we saw some signs 
of improvement. The seal wriggled on its 
back and then moved towards the sea, 
entering the water momentarily to let a 
wave wash over it. That evening at 
9.30 p.m. it left the beach. 

As locals had reported the animal was 
heading north before it came ashore, we 
searched to the north the next day, and 
found it in a sheltered cove with a pebble 
beach, about 1 km away. It was resting on 
the beach, swimming, and diving in turn, 
giving every appearance of recovery. Two 
days later, an unconfirmed report had it 
another 5 km north, at Catherine Hill Bay, 
and we have not heard of it since. 

The animal was not tagged or marked. 
It may be an aid to subsequent identifica- 
_ tion that the fifth digit of the left hind- 
flipper is truncated, flush with the webb- 

_ On 11th March, 1990 a second, and diff- 
_ erent, male Neophoca cinerea, 2.30m in 
_ length, was photographed by the author 

Vol. 107 No. 4 (1990) 

while hauled out for three days on a jetty 
in Wollongong Harbour, just south of Syd- 
ney, following heavy seas. Fishermen 
reported having seen two seals in the 
harbour just previously. 


The assistance of Ed Lonnon (Taronga 
Zoo) and Linda Gibson (Australian 
Museum) in identifying the animal is 
gratefully acknowledged. Dr. J. K. Ling 
(South Australian Museum), Professor J. 
D, Ovington (ANPWS), and Judith E. 
King kindly examined the photographs 
and commented on the known range of the 


King, J. E. (1983). Seals of the World. (British Museum 
and Oxford University Press: Oxford). 

Marlow, B. J. and King, J. E. (1974). Sea Lions and 
Fur Seals of Australia and New Zealand —- the 
growth of knowledge Aust. Mammal. 1: 117-136. 

Walker, G. E. and Ling, J. K. (1981). Australian Sea 
Lion Neophoca cinerea. In Handbook of Marine 
Mammals, Eds S. H. Ridgway and R. J. Harrison. 
Academic Press: London and New York). 



Examination of a gastropod radula 
Jan D. Endersby* 


Differentiation between the aquatic 
snails Glyptophysa gibbosa (Gould) and 
Physa acuta Drapanaud in Victoria re- 
quires an examination of the radula (Smith 
and Kershaw 1979) for certainty. Smith 
and Kershaw (1979) recommend that speci- 
mens be drowned with menthol as a relax- 
ant and that the buccal mass be macerated 
in sodium hydroxide to extract the radula 
for microscopic viewing. Neither of these 
chemicals is readily available in most 
households and so an alternative method 
of preparation would be useful. 

Small snails introduced into a garden 
pond with some samples of an aquatic 
liverwort were found difficult to identify 
from the twisted columella character of 
Smith and Kershaw’s (1979) key. Based on 
former success on extracting a chiton 
radula the following method was used to 
identify the species. It may also prove to 
be useful on those occasions when the 
standard methods cannot be used. 


1. The snail was killed with boiling water 
and the animal extracted from its shell 
with jeweller’s forceps. 

2. Again using the jeweller’s forceps, the 
“foot” was separated from the body 
and placed in a watchglass. 

3. Household bleach containing sodium 
hypochlorite (White King in this in- 
stance) was used to dissolve the soft 
parts. For this small specimen (2 x 
1 mm of foot) half an hour was suffi- 
cient for compete dissolution. 

4. With the watchglass placed on a black 
background under a 20x binocular dis- 
secting microscope, the transparent 

* 56 Looker Road, Montmorency, Victoria 3094, 


radula could be located and transferred 
to a drop of water on a glass slide. 

5. A glass coverslip was placed on the 
water drop and this temporary mount 
examined at 40x and 100x under a com- 
pound microscope with diaphragm 
almost closed. 


The radula was strongly contorted but 
sufficient detail of its bifurcated posterior 
end was visible to confirm the species as 
Glyptophysa gibbosa. 

It seemed possible that the killing of the 
animal in boiling water, rather than the 
conventional relaxation methods, lead to 
the distortion of the radula. While this is 
unacceptable for taxonomic or curatorial 
purposes, in the absence of the correct 
chemicals it might suit the needs of a 
naturalist wanting a quick species con- 
firmation, Repeating the experiment, how- 
ever, produces an undistorted radula,. On 
the first occasion it is likely that the 
distortion occurred when the radula was 
flattened during the preparation of the 
water mount. 

To demonstrate that this method could 
have a wider application than the separa- 
tion of the two species mentioned pre- 
viously, it was used to extract radulae from: 

Bembicium nanum (Lamarck) 

Littorina (Austrolittorina) unifasciata 


Helix (Cryptomphalus) aspersa (Muller) 

Deroceras caruanae (Pollonera) 

Nomenclature for marine species fol- 
lows Ludbrook and Gowlett-Holmes 
(1989) and for the terrestrial species, Smith 
and Kershaw (1979). 

In each case a readily discernible radula 
was revealed which appeared under the dis- 
secting microscope to be almost free from 
adhering undissolved soft parts. 

Victorian Nat. 



The prime purpose of this investigation 
was to examine the radula of a particular 
aquatic snail to determine its species using 
a method that required only household 
materials. When this proved to be ade- 
quate further taxa were tested to see if it 
had more general application. This also 
proved to be the case. 

No comparisons have been made with 
the standard techniques of relaxation and 
sodium hydroxide maceration to see if a 
quicker or better result is obtained. Nor 
has the method been tested to see if the 
radulae are sufficiently clean for staining 
and the making of permanent mounts, or 
if other factors have made them unsuitable 
for that purpose. 

The non-specialist should find this 
method of radula examination to be ade- 
quate when simple features are used in keys 
for determining species. It has the advan- 
tage that rarely used chemicasls need not 
be bought and stored. An interesting ex- 
tension of the project would be for some- 
one practised in the standard techniques 
to compare the methods for the prepara- 
tion of permanent, stained mounts. 


Thanks are due to the referee of this 
paper for advice on revised nomenclature 
for Glyptophasa and a recommendation 
to extend the scope of the initial draft. 


Ludbrook, N. H. and Gowlett-Holmes K. L. (1989). 
Chitons, Gastropods, and Bivalves. Jn Marine 
Invertebrates of Southern Australia Part II. Eds 
S. A. Shepherd and I. M. Thomas (Series: 
Handbook of the Flora and Fauna of South 
Australia, Adelaide.) 

Smith, B. J. and Kershaw R. C. (1979), Field Guide 
to the Non-marine Molluscs of South Eastern 
Australia. (ANU Press: Canberra). 

Walker, J. C. (1988). Classification of Australian Bul- 
iniform Planorbids (Mollusca: Pulmonata) Rec. 
Aust. Mus. 40: 61-89. 

Vol. 107 No. 4 (1990) 


Naturalist Notes 

The ascent of Mt William 
J. A. D. Blackburn 

On 11 July 1836 Major Mitchell ob- 
tained his first glimpse of the Grampians 
and on the 13th they were in full view. The 
following is an abbreviated account taken 
from his published journal, using his 
words, with a minimum of editing to make 
it more fluent. 

“The lofty mountain range was distant 
between thirty and forty miles so I deter- 
mined on an excursion to its lofty eastern 
summit. I perceived that the land immedi- 
ately to the eastward was very low, and |] 
might conduct a party in that direction to 
the coast. I was however more desirous to 
level my theodolite on that summit first, 
and thus obtain valuable materials for the 
construction of an accurate map. 

I left the party encamped, and pro- 
ceeded towards the mountain, accom- 
panied by six men on horseback, We 
crossed, at three miles from the camp, a 
deep creek. The horse of one of the party 
plunged in and they parted company in the 
water, the horse reaching one bank, the 
rider the other; the latter, who was my 
botanical collector, Richardson, partly 
swimming, partly floating on two huge 
portfolios. I gave his name to the creek. 
The next day we came to a river with broad 
deep reaches of very clear water, and 
flowing towards the north-west. We found 
a ford, and a tract of white sand where 
Banksia and Casuarinae were the chief 
trees, Here we left our horses. 

The first part of our ascent, on foot, was 
extremely steep and labourious. Above it 
were two high and perpendicular cliffs, the 
upper about 140 feet in height. The 
summit of the cliffs consisted of large 
blocks of sandstone, separated by wide 
fissures, full of dwarf bushes of banksia 
and casuarinae, wet and curiously encrus- 
ted with heavy icicles. We had not come 
prepared to pass the night. We had neither 
clothing nor food; nor was there any shel- 
ter. One man, Richardson, had brought his 
day’s provisions in his havresack (sic) and 


these I divided equally among five. The 
thermometer stood at 29(°F), the water, 
as it boiled, rose to 95 of the centigrade 
scale. In keeping the fire alive, twigs were 
blown into red heat at one end, icicles 
remained at the other, even within a few 
inches of the flame. 

The wind blew keenly, and in the morn- 
ing the thermometer stood as low as 
27(°F). The rocks were more thickly 
encrusted with ice. The sun rose amid red 
and stormy clouds and a few isolated hills 
were dimly visible. I hastily levelled my 
theodolite and during a short interval I 
took what angles I could obtain. 

The work completed we reached the 
river where the horses awaited us in three 
hours, the distance being eight miles from 
the summit of Mount William. We reached 
the little river at eight in the evening, and 
lay down on its bank for the night. As soon 
as morning dawned I succeeded in finding 
a ford and reached the camp at an early 

Mitchell wrote: “In adding this noble 
range of mountains to my map, | felt some 
difficulty in deciding onaname... Ihave 
always gladly adopted aboriginal names, 
and in the absence of these, I have 
endeavoured to find some good reason for 
the application of others, considering 
descriptive names the best, such being in 
general the character of those used by the 
natives of this and other countries. Names 
of individuals seem eligible enough, when 
at all connected with the history of the 
discovery, or that of the nation by whom 
it was made. . . I venture to connect this 
summit with the name of the sovereign in 
whose reign the. . . region below was first 
explored; and, it was not without some 
pride, as a Briton, that I gave the name of 
the Grampians to these summits?’ 

In keeping with these ideals, three days 
later he wrote: “Some natives being heard 
on the opposite bank . . . we ascertained 

Victorian Nat. 

Naturalist Notes 

that the name of the river was the “Wim- 
mera”. On September 14 he records that: 
“A considerable source of the Glenelg, 
named by the natives the ‘Wannon’ has its 
source in the eastern and southern rivulets 

In reading his journal, it is clear that 
every reasonable effort was made to de- 
termine the aboriginal names of topo- 
graphical features, but this was frequently 
frustrated by the unapproachability or 
absence of local inhabitants. 

Mitchell lists fourteen new species found 
on Mt William. These were subsequently 
described by Dr Lindley and published, in 
Latin, as footnotes in “Three Expeditions 
into the Interior of Eastern Australia” by 
Thomas Mitchell (1839), although five of 
these names are no longer valid. 

Species found by Major Mitchell on 
Mt William in 1836 and described by 
Dr Lindley. 

Leucopogon glacialis 

“At the very summit I found a small heath- 
like bushy Leucopogon, from six inches to 
a foot high. It was in flower, although 
covered with ice’. p. 175, July 14th. 

Leucopogon villosus 

“Also a variety of Leucopogon villosus, 
with rather less hair than usual, and 
another species of the same genus, pro- 
bably new:’ p. 175, July 14th. 

Eucalyptus alpina 

“Near the highest parts of the plateau, | 
found a new species of Eucalyptus with 
short broad viscid leaves, and rough- 
warted branches?’ p. 175, July 14th. 

Epacris tomentosa (now E. impressa) 
“, . a most beautiful downy-leaved 
Epacris, with large, curved, purple flowers, 
allied to E. grandiflora but much hand- 
somer.’ p. 177, July 15th. 

Phebalium bilobum 

“A most remarkable species of Phebalium, 
with holly-like leaves and bright red 
flowers resembling those of a Boronia.” 
p. 178, July 15th. 

Vol. 107 No. 4 (1990) 

Cryptandra tomentosa 
“A new Cryptandra remarkable for its 
downy leaves?’ p. 178, July 15th. 

Baeckea alpina (now B, ramosissima ssp. 

“A beautiful species of Baeckea, with 
downy leaves and rose-coloured flowers 
resembling those of the dwarf almond”’ p. 
178, July 15th. 

Pultenaea montana (now P. scabra) 

“A new Pultenaea allied to P biloba, but 
more hairy, and with the flowers half 
concealed among the leaves?’ p. 178, 
July 15th. 

Bossiaea rosmarinifolia 

“A new species of Bossiaea which had the 
appearance of a Rosemary bush, and 
differed from all published kinds in having 
linear pungent leaves” p. 178, July 15th. 

Genetyllis alpestris (now Calytrix alpestris) 
“A beautiful, new, and very distinct species 
of Genetyllis, possessing altogether the 
habit of a Cape Diosma, the heath-like 
branches being terminated by clusters of 
bright pink and white flowers?’ p. 178, 
July 15th. 

Grevillea aquifolium 

“...aremarkable kind, with leaves like 
those of an European holly, but downy 
.. 2 p. 178, July 15th, 

Grevillea variabilis (now G. aquifolium) 
“.. . another fine new species, with leaves 
like those of an European oak . . ” p. 178, 
July 15th. 

Grevillea alpina 

“. . a third with brownish red flowers 
and hoary leaves, varying from an erect 
straight-branched bush, to a defuse en- 
tangled shrub. . ? p. 178, July 15th. 

Leucopogon rufus 

“. . lastly anew Leucopogon, besides that 
found on the summit as already men- 
tioned?’ p. 178, July 15th. 


Thank you to Karen Wilson, curator of 
the Melbourne University Herbarium, for 
tracing the nomenclatural changes. 


Naturalist Notes 

The search for Helicarion niger 
Karen van Kuyk 

The new VCE brings practicality into 
students’ work, This is what Glenn Elliott 
and | (Year 11, Mary MacKillop College, 
Leongatha) were looking for when we went 
searching for a useful Biology project. 

Mr. Peter Noonan, Maths/Computer 
teacher at school, sparked with an idea 
after receiving a letter from Mr. Ron C. 
Kershaw from Tasmania and author of 
“Field Guide to the Non-Marine Molluscs 
of South Eastern Australia”. Mr. Kershaw 
is studying a particular Gastropod, Heli- 
carion niger, found in the South Gippsland 
area. There was a limit to how many he 
could dissect from the Launceston 
Museum so he is now looking for fresh 
Helicarion material. Unfortunately, due to 
ill health, he cannot make the trip him- 

Several locations where this land snail 
had been found previously were quite 
accessible from our homes so Glenn and 
1 decided to take up the challenge. We 
knew next to nothing about Molluscs but 
the project appealed to both of us. 

We left Leongatha on Wednesday, 7th 
March for Sandy Point and the dry 
sclerophyll forests — we later found out that 
means ‘Gum Trees’ - after our background 
reading had shown that the most recent 
findings of H. niger in 1970 were just north 
of Sandy Point. We determined that the 
nearby Shallow Inlet would be just the 

Aware of our own ignorance we ques- 
tioned Mr, Noonan closely as to what we 
were really looking for. He handed us Mr. 
Kershaw’s book, saying: “I’m not quite 
sure myself!’ For us this was a great 
inspiration! ! In fact, H. nigerisa medium 
sized snail with a thin, flat, fragile shell of 
3 whorls which are glossy and coloured 
orange-yellow. The animal is black-grey to 
pinkish buff in colour, 


Arriving at the search area we worked 
vigorously for two hours. We pulled apart 
dead trees; looked under the foliage; dug 
in the dirt and tried a wide range of terrain 
~ dense and sparse, high and low. 

We did find two different species that 
day. They were in a low-lying place, under 
reeds and foliage, in fairly dense bush. 
They were very tiny and later we identified 
them as Pernagera tamarensis and Hydro- 
coccus tasmanicus using Mr. Kershaw’s 
book as our reference. Although the main 
object of our trip was not achieved we had 
learnt something from examining what we 
had found and, from observing the abun- 
dant and tiny animals moving about wher- 
ever we searched. We decided to give it 
another go. Next time we would try some- 
where not so dry, like the Tarra Valley or 
the Grand Ridge Road, also suggested by 
Mr. Kershaw. 

Our next trip was on 21st March, two 
weeks later. We agreed on Toora North 
which would be wetter than Sandy Point. 
We crossed a bridge near the Wonga turn- 
off and stopped. There were many gum 
trees on steep banks on either side of the 
river, coming down almost to the water 
and we could see leaf mould everywhere. 
We lifted dead logs; we dug in the ground 
and raked away at the leaf and bark litter. 
We found our first live gastropods. Once 
again we had two different species but 
Helicarion had eluded us. They were our 
only finds for the day in spite of several 
other stops. We later classified them as 
Tusmaphera lamproides, a 10 mm giant 
and a smaller Oxychilus alliarius, a glass 
shell. At Wonga we found far more animal 
life than we had found previously, 

The project seemed a failure. We didn’t 
find H. niger. However, when we looked 
at it again we really had learnt. We knew 
how to classify gastropods, using Mr. Ker- 

Victorian Nat. 

Naturalist Notes 

shaw’s book. We knew a lot more than Perhaps we will have better fortune if 
most about a special little land snail. We we try again after the rains come. 
had found some snails that we’d never Note: Our identifications of the species 

thought would live where they do. Wehad _ found are tentative only and are subject to 
tried our best to help someone with an change quite quickly — especially if we meet 
important investigation. someone who knows more than we do. 

But the mail did get through 

This letter was sent to the Secretary, Field Naturalists Club, Royal Society’s Hall, 

Post and Telegraph Department 
Brisbane 12th December 1882 

I am to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 29th ultimo, 
relative to the postage charged in Queensland upon specimens of Natural History, 
and complaining that the two small tin boxes of same addressed by you to Mr 
Geo. Barnard, Duaringa, although bearing the amount of postage indicated as 
correct by the Melbourne office, were refused delivery until a sum of 5/ deficient 

postage and fine should be paid. 
In reply, I have to inform you that our Regulations do not admit of specimens 
of Natural History passing through the Post Office at packet rates. 

The area of Victoria is but small compared with that of Queensland and the 
distances traversed therein by horse mails not very great, whereas in this extensive 
territory the services by horse are lengthy and numerous. It is therefore not 

considered desirable to extend the Regulations in the direction indicated. 

In the case of Mr Barnard’s parcels, referred to, the Postmaster at Duaringa 
has, under the circumstances, been instructed to give delivery without charge, and 
the Melbourne Office has been advised of the Regulations of this Department 

with regard to the specimens mentioned. 

I have the honor to be, 
Your obedient servant 
FE. Salisbury 

for Under Secretary 
From F.N.C.\V. archives 

Vol. 107 No. 4 (1990) 131 


The new museum on the South Bank 

(Report of a talk by Dr J. M. Bowler at the June meeting of 
the F.N.C.\V. on Monday, 16th June, 1990) 


The deputy director of the National 
Museum of Victoria, Dr Jim Bowler, 
spoke enthusiastically about the imminent, 
future plans for the new museum to be 
located opposite the World Trade Centre 
on the south bank of the Yarra River, 
adjacent to, and just west of Spencer 

Dr Bowler reported of the neglect the 
National Museum had suffered over the 
last few decades when other academic 
institutions were upgrading and amalga- 
mating. Bob Edwards, the former director, 
had received a commitment from the State 
Government to go ahead with the con- 
struction of a new technology museum at 
Spotswood. This section of the Museum 
will open in June 1991, 

A new building is to be built on the 
south bank of the Yarra River to house the 
other sections of the Museum, especially 
the Natural Science and Ethnological 
sections. The size of the new building will 
equate in area to that presently occupied 
by that of the existing Museum and Na- 
tional Library together. The cost in 1987 
was estimated to be $170 million, (At 
present this cost has escalated with infla- 
tion to over $200 million). 

The commitment is a firm one and it 
will be difficult for the Government to 
back out for the following reasons - 

(i) The State Library is to occupy the 
premises vacated by the Museum. The 
Library has a strongly organized pressure 
group, and their management urgently 
needs space to expand. 

(ii) The architect now has final plans for 
the south bank site to submit to Cabinet 
for approval. 

The museum and the community 

The Museum is keen to revitalize the 
natural sciences and those groups pro- 


moting the natural sciences in the com- 
munity. National terrestial parks have 
already been established through the work 
of Sir Baldwin Spencer and the field nat- 
uralists’ clubs. At present marine parks are 
being established in Victoria, and their 
development is similar to the stage that 
establishment of terrestial national parks 
were at 40 years ago. Just to determine 
what life is in these parks requires the 
research efforts of a large number of 
people, apart from the specialised work of 
Museum staff. Thus the work of FNCV 
and related groups would be valued and 
encouraged by the museum to complete 
such census tasks. 

The Museum is keen to promote envir- 
onmental education. Recently 60 inter- 
ested people were conducted by Museum 
staff and members of the Marine Research 
Group over sites at Corner Inlet and 
Wilson’s Promontory, in the study of food 
chains. Similar conservation strategies 
would be initiated by the Museum with 
field naturalists. It is important therefore, 
that the Museum should provide facilities 
for such groups to meet and conduct joint 

Housing specimens 

Fifteen million objects have to be stored 
in the natural history section of the 
museum, Most of these are invertebrate 
specimens. Eight hundred square metres 
of space costing $1.6 million is needed just 
to house palaeontology alone. In the light 
of the universities deleting palaeontology 
from courses in geology it is essential that 
the Museum staff carry the responsibility 
of teaching the whole story of life, past and 
present. This has to be done in an exciting 
and interesting way, to teach and stimulate 
the community. To do this will demand 
imaginitive ideas from staff and interested 

Victorian Nat. 



Money is required to develop worth- 
while exhibitions as has been seen recently 
with the dinosaur and Egyptian exhibi- 
tions. At present, the existing natural 
science exhibits could be greatly improved. 
Creativity and imagination are required to 
present the essential concepts, which need 
to be communicated to the visiting public. 

The new building 

The site opposite the World Trade 
Centre and east of the Polly Woodside site 
is interrupted on the south east corner by 
the old refurbished, privately owned Tea 
House. Ideally the site needs to be accessed 
to complete the unit, but would cost $6 
million. It is planned to scallop out the 
south bank in a concave fashion to match 
a similar feature on the Trade Centre front- 
age. Clearing of the site has already begun. 

If one arrives at the Museum site, either 
by boat or by bus from Spencer Street, the 
approach from the north east side would 
be through a long concourse introducing 
visitors to exhibition structures leading off 
on either side of the concourse to cura- 
torial areas. 

The Omnimax Theatre 

The Onimax Theatre is a domal projec- 
tion area, where the observer sees the 
picture completely surrounding on the 
inner surface of a hemispherical wall. It 
is a Japanese and American innovation, 
being ideal for space and astronomy films, 
and is anticipated for Antarctic and 
Barrier Reef vistas. 

The Omnimax Theatre will be the first 
structure built on the site. It will be built 
on time, as substantial penalties are to be 
built into the contract to ensure its con- 
struction is punctual. It will be a revenue 
raiser for the Museum, Aboriginal arte- 
facts, art and exhibitions should also serve 
in this respect as well. 

Vol. 107 No. 4 (1990) 

Points made at question time 
1. The plan allows for additions and ex- 
tensions possible towards the south west. 
(Maybe the Tea House could be purchased 
in the future.) 
2. 40 new staff have been added since last 
spring. However the institution is expand- 
ing from a very depressed base. Ten per- 
sonnel have joined the Natural Science 
3. Meeting rooms will be available for 
ancillary groups, e.g. FNCV, Friends of the 
Museum, MRG, Malacological Society, 
4. The concept in the design is to keep all 
sections together. 
5. The general structure at this stage is 
fixed and agreed upon. 
6. Shared laboratory facilities would be 
available for specialist groups together 
with coffee lounges. 
7. If the Olympic Games come to Mel- 
bourne in 1996, the Museum program will 
be given the impetus to be completed by 
1995, or before the Games visitors arrive. 
At present, there is a 5-year time scale to 
complete the resiting of the Museum. 
Members appreciated the clear presen- 
tation, sincerity and frankness shown by 
Dr. Bowler in his talk. 
Noel Schleiger, 
(Program Secretary). 

Book Reviews 

Tasmanian sea shells common to other Australian States 
by Margaret H. Richmond 

Publishers: Richmond Printers, Devonport, Tasmania. 
rrp. $30.00 (softcover), $45.00 (hard cover). 
(Special discounts if purchased through clubs). 

This, the first book on Tasmanian shells 
illustrated in full colour, is a thin A4 sized 
volume dealing with 170 gastropod and bi- 
valve species. Published in case bound and 
soft bound format it clearly does not 
replace W. L. May’s “Illustrated index of 
Tasmanian shells” which figured 1,052 
species on 47 plates. It does concentrate 
on those shells most likely to be seen by 
the average enthusiast, adult or child. 
Furthermore the figures are readily iden- 

The short introduction provides basic 
molluscan data, a useful glossary, figures 
illustrating shell descriptive features and 
eleven useful Australian literature ref- 
erences, The book is a valuable tool for the 
collector and naturalist seeking the 
identity of common shells of southern 
Australian shores. Most figures are clear 
and the species of natural size. Small 
species usually have an adjacent enlarge- 
ment but Nassarius nigellus (p.32) and 
Dentimitrella pulla (p.31) would also have 
gained in this way. The care taken selecting 
photographs is reflected in the high quality 

The plates are not cluttered so that each 
species is easy to find. The facing page in 
each case provides species and common 
names with a small map showing Tasman- 
ian distribution with a list of mainland 
states also included in the pattern. Ordinal 
and family names lead quickly to the 


subject matter supported by brief des- 
criptions and useful comments. The Tas- 
manian coastline is divided into segments 
each of which has a detailed map showing 
beach localities at which the author 
obtained her material. Beaches are clearly 
named, numbered and listed on pages 
63-64 together with the number of times 
each was searched for shells. Each shell is 
tabled by number and locality providing 
valuable distribution data. Visitors should 
easily find beaches and know what to 

Obvious errors include the miss-spelling 
of Phallium (p.79) and the omission of 
“Pot” from “Strange’s Watering Pot” 
(p.80). On page 49 the name of E. A. Smith 
has reversed initials while Tenison Woods 
may have a hyphen inserted occasionally. 
The title page to the Gastropods section 
has two somewhat disconcerting faded and 
reversed figures. The author, who is a 
perfectionist, says there are a number of 
small faults which she tried hard to elim- 
inate but these clearly do not detract from 
the result. The work was checked by Aus- 
tralian Museum experts for taxonomic 
accuracy so that it can be recommended 
without hesitation to students and any 
lover of shells, large or small. 

R. C, Kershaw, 

Honorary Research Associate, 
Queen Victoria Museum and 
Art Gallery, Launceston. 

Victorian Nat. 

Book Reviews 

The Mornington Peninsula - A field guide to the flora, fauna 
and walking tracks. 
by Ilma Dunn, Stephanie Rennick and Caroline Grayley 

Publishers: The Southern Peninsula Tree Preservation Society (1990). 64 pp, 
148 colour plates, rrp. $14.95 (soft cover). 

Launched at the Shire of Flinders 
Offices, Rosebud, on 18th July, a small 
book under the above title adds a new di- 
mension to the sparse literature currently 
available on the natural history of the 
Mornington Peninsula. Here is a most 
alluring collection of 148 beautifully clear 
colour pictures, chiefly the work of talent- 
ed photographer, Mrs Ilma Dunn; they 
embrace herbs, climbers, small shrubs, a 
few trees, ferns, fungi, lichens, birds, 
mammals and insects, as well as repre- 
sentative scenery — from coastal cliffs to 
fern gullies in the wetter interior of the 
Peninsula. On pages 34 and 35 a set of 
seven colour photographs depicts the life 
history of the Imperial White Butterfly. 

All pictures are appropriately annotated 
and the whole grouped according to broad 
habitats: foreshore, open forest, sheltered 
gullies, etc. A centrefold sheet gives in- 
formation on 47 access points to interest- 
ing walks, on one side, and a ten-coloured 
map showing geological formations on the 

other. Full indices to flora and fauna 
occupy pages 58-62, and references for 
further reading appear inside the back 
cover. Not a scrap of space is wasted, even 
on the inside covers. If there are any 
mistakes in this excellent field guide, the 
reviewer is unaware of them; meticulous 
care has been taken to ensure that the text 
is accurate and up-to-date. 

As the three authors aver (p. 3), “Know- 
ledge of the flora and fauna should assist 
in their protection, as well as adding 
pleasure and a sense of discovery to the 
experience of the sharp-eyed walker”. 
While congratulating all concerned in the 
production of such an attractive, useful 
book, one can confidently recommend it 
as a model source of local information. 
May it serve to extend concern for conser- 
vation of the long embattled native plants 
and animals of the Mornington Peninsula. 

J. H. Willis, 
Brighton, Vic. 

21 years of the Montmorency Field Naturalists Club 

The Montmorency Field Naturalists Club has its origins in a junior club which began in March 
1969. Mrs Lorna Cookson, having a young son with pockets always full of beetles, etc., decided 
a naturalist club would be a good thing. Together with her neighbours and friends and guidance 
from the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, she started a very successful organisation, 142 Juniors 
signed on at the first meeting! Membership numbers are considerably reduced today, due to the 
competition from TY, etc., but a dedicated group keeps the M.F.N.C. alive and well. On March 
9 this year over 40 people attended the 21st Birthday Meeting. Distinguished guests included Lorna 
Cookson, Ray Wilton (the first President), Dan McInnes (the first Guest Speaker) and many past 
members. It was interestng to learn of the achievements of many of those early Juniors, whose 
talents were fostered by M.F.N.C. To mention a few, Dr. Laurie Cookson is working on marine 
borers at C.S.I.R.O., Michael Braby is studying for a Ph.D. in Entomology, Margaret Howard 
has an M.Sc. in Genetics and Nancy Endersby, B.Sc, Hons, works for the Department of Agriculture. 
Notable achievements of the Club have been a Reptile Survey of Kinglake National Park and 
the discovery and preservation of the Eltham Copper Butterfly. 

We hope to continue for at least another 21 years. New members of all ages and visitors are 
always welcome. Enquiries: Elaine Braby 439 9015. 

Vol. 107 No. 4 (1990) 135 



There were a large number of errors in the appendix of Lindenmayer ef al (1989). 
A survey of the distribution of Leadbeater’s Possum, Gymnobelideus leadbeateri, 
McCoy in the Central Highlands of Victoria, Victorian Nat. 106 (5); pp 177-8. The 
corrected appendix is reproduced here in full. All errors were the responsibility of the 


The latitude and longitude to the nearest degrees and minutes for all records has 
been determined from 1: 100 000 NATMAP topographic maps. Elevation of survey 
sites has been estimated from 1: 25 000 Fire Control maps supplied by the Board of Works. 

Lat. Long. 

37 41 145 44 
37 22 145 47 
3745 146 I 
37 42 146 10 
37 45 146 10 
37 40 146 07 
37 41 146 07 

37 43 146 08 

37 39 145 45 
37 45 146 08 
37 49 146 10 
37 45 146 09 

37 23 145 48 

37 39 145 42 
37 48 145 48 

37 49 145 49 

37 48 145 52 

Alt. Location Lat. Long. Alt. Location 
(m) _ (m) 
800 — Acheron Gap. 
1000 ~—- Blue Range Rd, 37 50 145 51 760 Cnr Big Tree 
900 km E bridge, Walking Tk. and 
Upper Thomson Federal Rd. 
River. 3735 14538 440 “The Hermitage”, 
960 Upper Thomson Maroondah Hwy. 
River, 375414542 680 1.7 km. SE T/o 
1060 Upper Thomson Bunyip Rd. and 
Rd. A.P.M. Tk. 
1040 2kmN 37 54 14547. 780 Cnr. Woodalls Tk. 
Mt. Gregory. and Pioneer Ck, Rd. 
1100 3kmS Triangle, on 374814549 820 Cnr. Big Ck. Rd. 
Noojee-Matlock Rd. and Mississippi 
1020 4kmSW Mt. Fireline. 
Gregory, Rd. 11, 37 42 14539 1000 1 km. E Ben Cairn, 
Upper Yarra Catch. Mt. Donna Buang Rd. 
800 3kmN Acheron 37 35 14538 520 2km.SW Dom 
Gap. Dom on 
1040 5 km NE Toorongo. Maroondah Hwy. 
600 1kmE Tanjil Bren, 374914546 800 Cnr, Fitzpatrick Tk. 
1020. Cnr. Thomson and Blacksands Rd. 
Valley, Noojee/ 375414545 800 Burgess Fire Trail 
Matlock Rd. I km. Nth 
1040, = 4 km W Rubicon Kobiolkes Tk. 
Dam. 37 32 14530 =560 ~— Cnr. Sylvia Ck. and 
800 Cnr MMBW Tks. Coles Ck. Rds. 
No. 8 and 27, 37 41 14607 +1000 )=—-:17 km Rd. 9, 
Upper Yarra Catch. Upper Yarra Catch. 
800 0.5 km. NE 37 46 146.04 «1040 13 km Rd. 20, 
Starlings Gap on Upper Yarra Catch. 
Big Ck. Rd. 37 43 14608 1020 | 10 km Rd Il, 
800 Gap Tk., Starlings Upper Yarra Catch. 
Gap. 37 40 14606 1060 1.5 km Rd. 10 T/o 
760 Cnr. Federal Short with Rd. 9, Upper 

Cut and Federal Rd. 

Yarra Catch. 

Victorian Nat. 

Lat. Long. Alt. —_ Location Lat. Long. Alt. —_ Location 
(m) (m) 
37 38 14556 700 2kmon Rd. 27, 37 21 14553 1000 ~—-'1.3 km on Tk. 6, 
Upper Yarra Catch. T/o Snobs Ck. Rd. 
37 39 14607 1060 3.2 km W Triangle, 37 41 145 39 =—-:1020 17.2 km on Rd. 3, 
Woods Point Rd. Maroondah Catch. 
37 31 14555 960 Koala Falls, 37 37 145 48 1180 ~—s Cnr Rds. 5 and 1, 
Cambarville Rd. O’Shannassy Catch. 
37 43 14537 = 800 36s 1 km W BenCairn, 375014548 800 Mackley Ck., 
Mt. Donna Buang Crossing with Big 
Rd. Ck Rd, 
37 34 145 37 = 720 ~—Ss Cnr Rd. 9 and 37 33 14553 +=800 __— Big Tree Tk., 
Monda Tk., Cambarville. 
Maroondah Catch, 37 33 14553 = 840 ~— Snowy Hill Rd., 
37 34 145 32 =©880 ~—s Cnr. Hardies Ck. Cambarville. 
Rd. and Monda Tk. 37 30 145 49 = 900 -~—s Cnr. Tommy’s Bend 
37 36 14539 §=©600 )3=—s 3 km. Ra. 8, Rd. and 
Maroondah Catch. Yellow Dog Rd. 
37 35 145 36 = 800~Ss Cnr. Rds, 13 and 35, 37 26 14548 1100 Blue Range Rd., 
Maroondah Catch, 1.5 kms S T/o 
37 35 14537 =580 =. 2.5 km on Rad. 9, Tweeds Spur Rd. 
Maroondah Catch. 37 23 145 48 1100 Little River bridge, 
37 38 14539 740 1.1 km from Blue Range Rd. 
Viewpoint. 1, Rd. 3 37 25 14548 1000 Storm Ck., | km W 
Maroondah Catch. Blue Range Rd. 
3739 14541 780 8 km Rd. 27., 37 33 145 31 960 Northern slopes Mt. 
Maroondah Catch. St. Leonard. 
37 39 14550 520 12km. Rd. 1, 37 34 145 33, 860 ~—- Hardy’s Ck. Rd., 
O’Shannassy Catch. 1.5 km NE T/o 
37 37 145 45 1140 0.7 km, Rd. 8, Monda Tk. 
O’Shannassy Catch. 37 30 145 31 920 4.2 km N Mt. 
37 37 145 44 1080 3.9 km Rd. 8, St. Leonard. 
O’Shannassy Catch. 374614603 1130 0.7 km W summit 
37 38 14549 1140 0.8 km. Rd. 5, Mt. Horsfall. 
O’Shannassy Catch. 3745 14612 1120 Thomson Valley Rd. 
37 37 14549 840 2.9km. Rd. 5, 
O’Shannassy Catch. 
37 36 14549 700 7.5 km. on Rd. 12, 
O’Shannassy Catch. 
37 41 14544 900 0.2 km. Rd, 14, 
O’Shannassy Catch. 
37 34 14534 820 Cnr Rd. 9 and 
Block 6 Rd., 
37 36 145 36 =65580—Ss«d1 km. Rad. 39, 
Maroondah Catch. 
37 22 14555 1000 Conns Gap Rd., 

0.5 km. T/o 
Snobs Ck. Rd, 

Vol. 107 No. 4 (1990) 




The Victorian Naturalist is the bi- 
monthly publication of the Field Nat- 
uralists Club of Victoria. 


The Victorian Naturalist publishes 
articles on all facets of natural history. 
Its primary aims are to stimulate 
interest in natural history and to en- 
courage the publication of articles in 
both formal and informal styles ona 
wide range of natural history topics. 

Research Report 

A succinct and original scientific 
communication. Preference is given to 
reports on topics of general interest. 


Contributions may consist of 
reports, comments, observations, sur- 
vey results, bibliographies or other 
material relating to natural history. 
The scope is broad and little defined 
to encourage material on a wide range 
of topics and in a range of styles. This 
allows inclusion of material that 
makes a contribution to our know- 
ledge of natural history but for which 
the traditional format of scientific 
papers is not appropriate. 

Naturalist Notes 

Short and informal natural history 
communications. These may include 
reports on excursions and talks. 


Informative articles that provide an 
up-to-date overview of contemporary 
issues relating to natural history. 
Whilst commentary articles are 
invited, the editors welcome discus- 
sion of topics to be considered for 
future issues. 

Book Reviews 

Priority is given to major Australian 
publications on all facets of natural 
history. Whilst reviews are commis- 
sioned, the editors welcome sugges- 
tions of books to be considered for 

Any items of news concerning the 


Notice of coming events including 
activities of FNCV groups and any 
other activities of interest to Vic. Nat. 

Review Procedures 

Research reports and Contributions 
are submitted to the editors and are 
forwarded to the appropriate member 
of the editorial board for comment. 
All research reports are assessed by 
two independent qualified referees 
prior to publication. Contributions 
are assessed by the appropriate 
member of the editorial board and 
may be refereed at the editors dis- 
cretion. All other articles are subject 
to editorial review. 


Victorian Nat. 

FNCV Diary (cont.) 

Fauna Survey Group 
Contact the group secretary, Alex Kutt, 347 0012 A.H., for information on meetings 

and excursions. 


Saturday, 6th October 
Night. Leadbeater Possum Watch. 

Sat-Sun, 20th-21st October 
Water Rat Survey. Werribee Farm. 
Sat to Tues. 3rd-6th November 
Nooramunga Marine Coastal Park. 

Saturday, 10th November 
Night. Leadbeater Possum Watch. 

Saturday, 24th November 
Night. Leadbeater Possum Watch. 

Sat-Sun, 8th-9th December 
Water Rat Survey. Werribee Farm. 
Saturday, 15th December 
Night. Leadbeater Possum Watch. 
Wednesday, 26th December to 
2nd January (or longer) 
Xmas Camp. Nooramumga Marine 
Coastal Park. Sunday Island. 

Geology Group 
Group Meetings (Third Wednesday) 

Wednesday, 3rd October 
“Metamorphism” Roger Powell 
(Melb. Uni.). 

Wednesday, 7th November 
“Ashton Mining” (Diamonds). 

Wednesday, 5th December 
Members Social Night. 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

In which is incorporated the Microscopical Society of Victoria 
Established 1880 
Repistered Office: FNCYV, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra, 3141. 

OBJECTS: To stimulate interest in natural history and to preserve 
and protect Australian fauna and flora, 
Members include beginners as well as experienced naturalists. 

His Excellency, The Rev Dr John Davis McCaughey, The Governor of Victoria. 
Key Office-Bearers 1989-1990 
President: Mr. ARTHUR FARNWORTH, ENCY, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, South 
Yarra, 3141, 
Hon. Secretary: Mr, JULIAN GRUSOVIN, | Warriner Court, Bast Oakleigh, 3166. (543 8627 A.H.) 
Hon. Treasurer: Mt. BRUCE ABBOTT, 4/597 Orrong Road, Armadale, 3143. (529 4301 A.H.) 
Subscription-Secretary: Ms DIANNE CHAMBERS, PNCY, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood 
Avenue, South Yarra, 3141, 
Editors: ROBY N WATSON and TIM OFFOR, ENCY, P.O, Box 4306, The University of Melbourne, 
Parkville, 3052, (419 3532), 
Librarian: Mts, SUELLA HOUGHTON, F'NCY, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, South 
Yarra, 3141 
Excursion Secretary: DOROTHY MAHLER (850 9379 A.FL.). 

Conservation Co-ordinator; Mr, WIL ASHBURNER, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, 
South Yarra, 3141. 

Sales Officer (Victorian Naturalist only): Mt. D. EB. MeINNES, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 
3145 (541 2427) 

Publicity Officer: Miss MARGARET POTTER, 1/249 Highfield Road, Burwood, 3125, (889 2779). 

Group Secretaries 
Botany: Miss MARGARET POTTER, 1/249 Highfield Road, Burwood, 3125 (889 2779). 
Geology, Miss HELEN BARTOSZEWICZ, 16 Euroa Avenue, Nth, Sunshine, 3020 (311 5106 A.H.) 
Fauna Survey: Mr. JULIAN GRUSOVIN, | Warriner Court, East Oakleigh, 3166, (543 8627 A.H.) 
Microscopical: Mrs. ELSIE GRAHAM, 147 Broadway, Reservoir, 3073 (469 2509) 

Membership of the F.N.CY, is open to any person interested in natural history, The Victorian 
Naturalist is distributed tree to all members, the club's reference and lending library is available 
and other activities are indicated in reports set out in the several preceding pages of this magazine. 

Subscription rates for 1990 

Metropolitan Members (03 area code) ‘ . $27 
Joint Metropolitan ‘ $30 
Gountry/Interstate members $24 
Joint Country/Interstate members ‘4 $27 
Concessional rate (Students/pensioners) (proof of entitlement required) : $20 
Joint Goncessional $23 
Junior (under 18; No Victorian Naturalist) $5 
Clubs $25 
Subscription to Victorian Naturalist $30 
Overseas Subscription to Victorian Naturalist . $35 AN Vf 
Individual Journals ’ $4 /) 

JENKIN BUXTON PRINTERS PTY, LTD. 113 Aaworsrord st West MELBOURNE 428-47 ra 

The (., 

*% 4 
is rove 

&. 3 


Vol. 107 (5/6) October/December 1990 

Published by The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 
since 1884 


General Meetings 
Held on the second Monday of the month (except for public holidays), 8.00 p.m. 
at the National Herbarium Hall, corner of Birdwood Avenue and Dallas Brooks Drive, 
South Yarra. Meetings include a talk by a guest speaker. All members of the public 
are welcome. 

Monday, 11th February Sunday, 17th March 
Spiders. Hosted by the Fauna Survey group. 

Wendy Clarke. 
FNCV Excursions 

For further information on excursions contact Dorothy Mahler (850 9379 A.H.). 
6th-12th January Sunday, 3rd February 

Excursion to Gypsy Point. Lancefield Marsupial Megafauna 

Fossils. Sanya van Huet. 

Sunday, 3rd March 

Spiders and general natural history. 

Gerard Marantelli. 

Group Activities 
Botany Group 

Group Meetings (second Thursday) 

Thursday, 14th February Thursday, 14th March 
To be announced. Biology of seaweeds. 
Mrs, Iona Christiansen and panel. 
Saturday, 23rd February Saturday, 23rd March 
Rainforest at Toolangi. Seaweeds at Mornington. 
David Cameron. Mrs. Iona Christiansen. 

Microscopial Group 
Group Meetings (Thitd Wednesday) 
Wednesday, 16th January Wednesday, 20th February 
Members night. Chemistry of stains. 

Wednesday, 20th March 
Phase contrast and modulation contrast 
in microscopes. 
Geology Group 
Group Meetings (First Wednesday) 

Wednesday, 6th February Wednesday, 6th March 
Members night. Weather and climate on other planets. 
Wednesday, 3rd April Dr. Tim Gibson. 

Geomorphology. Mrs Gabi Love. 

From the Editors 

Owing to the re-location of the printers of The Victorian Naturalist, the last two 
issues for 1990 have been combined into one large edition to bring the journal to readers 
before the christmas period. 

Registered by Australia Post, Publication No. V.B.P. 1268 



Volume 107 (5/6) October/December, 1990 

Editors: Tim Offor and Robyn Watson. 

Editorial committee: Steve Read and Karen Wilson 

Research Reports 


Naturalist Notes 

Book Review 

IISSN 0042-5184 

Distribution, habitat and conservation status of the Giant 
Burrowing Frog, Heleioporus australiacus (Myobatrachidae) in 

WAGLORI AsV (Qie Gs ICSE. coer eet enere Ren Tonioc uct oes dis coals ep Poo tu' 144 
Germination in eight native species of herbaceous dicot and 

implications for their use in revegetation, by S. McIntyre ............. 154 
Record of a Southern Right Whale Eubalaena australis skeleton 

from Altona Bay, Victoria, ‘Australia, by J. M. Dixon........2..0.....- 159 
Plant drought messenger proves elusive, by T. J. Entwisle ............ 163 
Field naturalists in Victorian alps, by L. Gillbank ......1..c0..c00cc000s 165 
WHT Dv a Ar DIS DIGCKOUTT she, e heme e pees ok eaateten stiybheice 173 
Intertidal Echidna activity, by H. PHillipps .....00...c00ccccccceceeveeeees 174 
Mount Buffalo excursion, 4th-9th January 1990, by R. Parkin..... 175 
“The marine life of Heron Reef’. Speaker: Julie Marshall, 

LIVEN SSSCHICIOR Ea te Maueeree re Pan. Le ye aiey tee en to adi sce tite «e Weve dia ees 177 
Annual report of the Botany Group, F.N.CV., by W. Bennet......... 181 
Australian Natural History Medallion .................ccceceececceceseecees 182 

Wily violets and underground orchids, by P. Bernhardt. 
INGVICW COND ve mnie lean en. car mmeaneors ts Gets ee sf ieteul eae ie. 179 

Cover photo: Blue Whale skeleton collected at Jan Juc Victoria in 1867 by Prof. 

McCoy. Displayed outside the old Union Building, University of 
Melbourne. Photo courtesy of the Museum of Victoria. 

Research Reports 

Distribution, habitat and conservation status of the 
Giant Burrowing Frog, Heleioporus australiacus 
(Myobatrachidae), in Victoria 
Graeme R. Gillespie* 


The genus Heleioporus contains six 
species, all of which are endemic to Aus- 
tralia. The Giant Burrowing Prog, Heleio- 
porus australiacus (Shaw and Nodder 
1795) , is the largest of these moderate to 
large, globular burrowing frogs (Pig, 1), 
and it is the only member of this genus 
found in eastern Australia, The disjunet 
distribution between the western and 
eastern species in this genus is discussed 
by Lee (1967), 

The known distribution of WH. aust- 
raliacus extends from the central coast of 
New South Wales to eastern Victoria 
(Fig. 2). Within New South Wales the 
status of this species is uncertain, An 
extensive survey of the herpetofauna in the 
Bega district on the New South Wales 
coast (Lunney and Barker 1986) indicated 
that the species is rare, However, it appears 
to be common throughout the Hawkes- 
bury Sandstone in the Sydney area (Bar- 
ker and Grigg 1977; Dr. A. Lee = Assoc. 
Dept, Zoology, Monash University, pers. 
comm, ). 

In Victoria, little was known about the 
distribution of #7. australiacus prior to 
1983, as only five specimens had been 
recorded, The first specimen, from Tongio 
West near Omeo, was recorded in January 
1903 (Anon 1903). Not until 1965 were two 
more specimens collected, adjacent to the 
Cann Valley Highway, in Wet Sclerophyll 
Forest, 200 and 300 metres south of the 
state border respectively (Littlejohn and 
Martin 1967). In February 1967, two more 
specimens, as well as epg masses, were 
collected five kilometres north of Boola 
Camp near Erica (Littlejohn and Martin 
1967), As a result of intensive fauna 

* Departinent of Genetics and Developmental Bio- 
logy, Monash University, 


surveys in eastern Victoria by the Depart- 
ment of Conservation and Environment 
in the past eight years, many more speci- 
mens have been found. In this paper, these 
additional records are presented, and the 
current Knowledge and status of this 
species in Victoria is reviewed, 

Species Description 
Lee (1967) and Cogger (1986) have dese- 
ribed HH. australiacus as follows: 

A large, robust species, with maximum 
body length (snout-vent) of 100mm 
(Fig, 1), Body colouration is a uniform 
chocolate brown above, white below, 
with the throat frequently washed with 
brown, There are scattered white or 
yellow spots, 1-3 mm in diameter, 
usually capping warts on the sides and 
around the cloaca, and occasional spots 
on the proximal segment of forelimbs 
and hindlimbs, The back and sides are 
covered with warts, each capped by a 
small spine. Black spines may also occur 
on the throat, the ventral surface is 
otherwise smooth, A small divided flap 
is present in the anterior corner of the 
eye. The tympanum is prominent, The 
girth of the forelimbs usually exceeds the 
girth of the hindlimbs in males, but 
never in females. The fingers and toes 
are without webbing, The compressed 
inner metatarsal tubercle is slightly less 
than one half the length of the fourth 
toe. A series of conical black spines is 
prominent on the first, and usually 
second and third fingers of males, the 
largest up to 5 mm in length on the 
metacarpophalangeal knuckle of the 
first finger, 

The call is a low-pitched, owl-like, 
“ou-ou-ou’’*, with a repetition rate of 
18-24 calls per minute (Littlejohn and 
Martin 1967). 

Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

Distribution and Habitat 

The presently Known distribution of AY. 
australiacus in south-eastern Australia is 
illustrated in Pig. 2. Records of this species 
from Victoria, since 1982, are summarized 

I, Waratah Access Track, approxi 

male (photographed, released) recorded 
calling from a burrow adjacent (oa fire 
dam in Damp Sclerophyll Borest domin 
ated by Aucalyprus obligna (Messmate 
Stringybark), &. cypellocarpa (Moun 
fain Grey Gum) and 2. sieberd (Silvertop 
Ash), with an open understorey (Ches 

mately 500 m east of Waratah Flat, Bast 
Gippsland, Victoria: January, 1983. 
(Australian Map Grid Reference 8623 
390720), One gravid female (released) 
was Observed crossing a track at night, 
after a heavy thunderstorm, This site is 
on the boundary between Lepfosper- 
mum glabrescens thickets and Low 
Montane Riparian Forest, dominated by 
Eucalyptus viminalis (Manna Gum) and 
£, radiata (Narrow-leaved Peppermint), 
with an open understorey (Chesterfield 
et al, 1983), 

2. Yalmy Road, East Gippsland; Feb- 
ruary, 1983, (AMG 8623 415717). One 

terfield ef al, 1983; Opie ef al, 1984) 

3, 300 m south of the New South 
Wales’ Victorian border, 800 m north 
West Of Coast Range Road, Past Gipp 
sland: Pebruary, 1984. (AMG) 87233 
SS56850), One individual crossing a track 
at night following heavy rain, The vege 
tation at this site is Dry Sclerophyll 
borest, dominated by Auca/yprus radi 
ata and &. dives (Broad-leaved 
Peppermint) (Carr ef a, 1884) 

+. Scorpion Creek, Central Gippsland: 
February, 1984, (AMG 8523 947612), 
One male was recorded calling trom 
under a log jam in the creek, Riparian 

Fig. 1. Giant Burrowing Frog (Heleioporus australiacus), Coast Range, Bast Gippsland, 
Victoria, (Photo: Graeme R. Gillespie), 

Vol. 107 No, 5/6 (1990) 145 

Research Reports 



Fig. 2. Five minute grids in which Heleioporus australiacus has been recorded. Open grids represent 
records in Victoria prior to 1982 and all records from New South Wales (Australian Museum 
Records; Littlejohn and Martin 1967; Lunney and Barker 1986; Webb 1987). Solid grids represent 
post-1982 records from Victoria and numbers correspond with those in text. Hatched grids represent 
breeding records in Victoria (Littlejohn and Martin 1967). 

146 Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

vegetation was present along the creek, 
with forest dominated by Eucalyptus 
cypellocarpa and E. radiata along the 
adjacent slopes (Macfarlane ef a/. 1984). 

5. Buldah Gap Road, 1.8 km south of 
the Bonang Highway, East Gippsland: 
January, 1986. (AMG 8623 936702). 
One juvenille (photographed, released) 
was collected from a pitfall trap in Dry 
Sclerophyll Forest dominated by Euca- 
lyptus globoidea (White Stringybark) 
and £. sieberi, with a sparse gound cover 
(Cherry et al. 1986). 

6. Sardine Creek Road, 1.8 km south of 
the Bonang Highway, East Gippsland: 
January, 1986. (AMG 8623 489613). 
Individual frogs were recorded crossing 
the road on two consecutive nights, 
following a period of prolonged rainfall 
(released). Vegetation at this site com- 
prised Dry Sclerophyll Forest dominated 
by Eucalyptus globoidea with some E. 
bridgesiana (Applebox) and E. poly- 
anthemos (Red Stringybark) (Chester- 
field et al. 1988). A sample of the sur- 
face soil at this locality was identified 
as a fertile sedimentary soil, with a 
loamy sediment and fairly high organic 
content (Graeme Love - Geological 
Adviser, Department of Defence, Glex 
Field Unit, St. Kilda West, Victoria pers. 

7. Near the junction of Far Creek Track 
and Hepburn Road, Coast Range, East 
Gippsland: December, 1986. (AMG 
8723 801819). Two males [95 mm and 70 
mm (snout-vent), photographed, 
released] were collected from a pitfall 
trapline along a slope, adjacent to Swede 
Creek, after a heavy rain storm. The 
Montane Sclerophyll Woodland at this 
site is dominated by Eucalyptus dal- 
rympleana (Mountain Gum) and E. 
radiata, with a sparse middle stratum of 
Acacia dealbata (Silver Wattle) and A. 
melanoxylon (Blackwood) (Opie ef al. 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

1990), A sample of the surface soil 
collected at this locality was identified 
as being a highly fertile volcanic soil, 
with a high organic content (Love pers. 

8. Central Gippsland, 1 km south of 
Mount Budgee Budgee: April, 1987, 
and March, 1988. (AMG 8322 150382). 
On each of two occasions, one indi- 
vidual was observed on a track (fate 
unknown). The site was at mid-slope, 
with Damp Sclerophyll Forest domin- 
ated by Eucalyptus obliqua, E. cypel- 
locarpa, E. muellerana (Yellow Stringy- 
bark) and Acacia obliquinerva (Moun- 
tain Hickory Wattle), with a scant 
ground cover (V. Hurley — Forester, 
Heyfield Work Centre, Department of 
Conservation and Environment pers. 

9. East Gippsland, 5 km south of 
Mount Puggaree: May, 1988. (AMG 
8622 650385). One individual (released) 
was observed crossing an old logging 
track along aridge at night. Vegetation 
at this site was approximately 20 year- 
old regrowth Dry Sclerophyll Forest, 
dominated by Eucalyptus sieberi and E. 
baxteri (Brown Stringybark), with a 
middle storey of £. baxteri saplings, 
Persoonia con/fertiflora (Clusterflower 
Geebung) and Acacia mucronata (Vari- 
able Sallow Wattle) (M. Collins - Zoolo- 
gist, Department of Zoology, La trobe 
University, Victoria pers. comm.). 

10. Mount Alfred, East Gippsland: 
May 1989. (AMG 8322 392360). One 
male [100 mm (SV), photographed, 
released] unearthed as a result of the 
uprooting of a tree stump. This site was 
on a ridge in Dry Sclerophyll Forest 
dominated by Eucalyptus cypellocarpa, 
E. bosistoana (Coastal Grey Box) and 
E. globoidea, with a sparse understorey 
(J. Reside - Department of Conserya- 
tion and Environment Office, Bairns- 
dale pers. obs.), 


Research Reports 

Il. Black Forest Creek, East Gippsland: 
March, 1990. (AMG &723  845857- 
846859). (Gerard O'Neil pers. comm, 
Department of Conservation and 
Environment, Orbost). Tadpoles were 
located at six sites along a 300 m stretch 
of the stream by the author, Black Forest 
Creck is a predominantly narrow (less 
than | m width), swift-flowing stream, 
however the tadpoles were located in 
relatively calm, deep sections. The 
earthen banks of the stream support a 
dense growth of Blechnum nudum 
(Fish-bone Water Fern), Carex appressa 
(Tall Sedge) and Gahnia sieberiana 
(Red-Fruit Saw Sedge), and the adjacent 
slopes are characterised by Montane 
Sclerophyll Woodland. Several indi- 
viduals were collected and reared for 
positive identification. 

These records of AH. australiacus and 
also those from New South Wales (Little- 
john and Martin 1967; Moore 1961; 
Lunney and Barker 1986; Webb 1987; 
Australian Museum Records) are all con- 
fined to the south-eastern slopes of the 
Great Dividing Range, at elevations below 
1000 m, The distribution of this species is 
within the Eastern Bassian Subregion of 
Australia, as described by Littlejohn 
(1967). This subregion is characterised by 
a non-seasonal rainfall, with either a 
uniform distribution, or a slight summer 
maximum. All of the known records of H. 
australiacus in Victoria have been from 
eucalypt forests. The absence of records 
from cleared land suggests a dependence 
upon forest habitats. Chesterfield e7 al, 
(1983) recorded one individual in a Lep- 
tospermum thicket but noted that it was 
close to adjacent Montane Riparian 
Forest. The vegetation at sites where H. 
australiacus has been recorded encom- 
passes a wide range of forest communities 
(Montane Sclerophyll Woodland, Mon- 
tane Riparian Forest, Wet Sclerophyll 
Forest, Damp Sclerophyll Forest, Dry 
Sclerophyll Forest) that together occupy a 
large area of eastern Victoria, The plant 
community definitions used here are based 
on those of Forbes ef a/. (1981), 


Montane Sclerophyll Woodland in- 
cludes low forest or woodlands of rocky 
mountain soils, generally of northern 
aspects with low effective rainfall. The 
major occurrence is on the west and east 
flanks of the Cobberas-Nunniong region, 
with isolated occurrences at Mount Tin- 
garingy and Bendoe (800-1100 m), Mon- 
tane Riparian Forest is restricted to gullies 
and stream margins of sub-alpine and 
montane valleys, being most common on 
the Nunniong Plateau and near Mount 
Misery and the Cobberas (900-1500 m). 
Wet Sclerophyll Forest includes tall, open 
forests of well watered slopes throughout 
the eastern ranges (200-1200 m). Damp 
Sclerophyll Forest has affinities with 
Lowland Sclerophyll Forest, which is the 
most abundant community in East Gipps- 
land; characteristically open forest of the 
lowlands, occurring from near the coast 
to the foothills in a broad band from east 
to west (80-400 m). This community is 
dominated by Eucalyptus sieberi and E. 
globoidea, with many variants depending 
upon aspect, draining, soil type and alti- 
tude. Dry Sclerophyll Forest comprises a 
diverse and widespread range of foothill 
forests (200-900 m), usually with a sparse 
shrub layer dominated by opportunistic 
species, whilst the ground consists of semi- 
shrubs and herbs (Parkes ef a/. 1985). 

The vegetation on the Hawkesbury 
Sandstone, where many individuals have 
been recorded, consists of “xeromorphic 
woodlands and shrubs” (Beadle 1962) of 
high rainfall but low soil moisture re- 

The small number of records of H. 
australiacus, and the wide range of forest 
types from which it has been recorded, 
make it difficult to identify habitat prefer- 
ences of this species. However, no indi- 
viduals of 1. atstraliacus have, as yet, 
been recorded in rainforest or in tall open 
forests dominated by Eucalyptus regnans 
(Mountain Ash) or £. delegatensis (Alpine 

Heleioporus australiacus may be ex- 
cluded from farmland if the larvae are 

Victorian Nat, 

Research Reports 

dependent upon small flowing streams 
(Harrison 1922). Such streams tend to be 
degraded by land clearing due to increased 
silt loading from erosion and changes 
in the water chemistry (Langford and 
O’Shaughnessy 1980). These changes may 
inhibit larval development and thereby 
eliminate the species from the area. This 
species has been recorded from a dam on 
one occasion, however, this was within a 
forested area. 

Life History 

Lee (1967) described aspects of the life 
history of Heleioporus spp. in Western 
Australia. He observed that the breeding 
activity of these species is confined to a 
period of approximately six weeks — from 
the onset of winter rains until ephemeral 
pond sites fill. These species construct 
burrows in, or adjacent to ephemeral 
ponds from which males will call, and in 
which mating and oviposition occurs. 
Sufficient rainfall is required, on com- 
pletion of embryonic development, to 
flood the burrows and release the larvae 
into the ponds. Three to five months are 
required for completion of larval develop- 

As yet, little is known of the life history 
of H. australiacus. Moore (1961) heard 
males calling from burrows in sandstone 
cliffs near Sydney in August, September 
and March. Littlejohn and Martin (1967) 
have recorded this species calling in eastern 
Victoria during December and January; 
two individuals were calling from burrows 
in banks of shallow creeks, and one 
amongst debris in the middle of a small 
pool. Chesterfield et a/. (1983) recorded 
one individual calling in February from a 
burrow adjacent to a fire dam, and Mac- 
farlane et al. (1984) also recorded one 
calling in February from under a log jam 
in a creek. 

The eggs are unpigmented and encap- 
sulated by a foamy mass (Watson and 
Martin 1973). In four egg masses examined 
by Watson and Martin (1973), the egg 
count ranged from 775 to 1239. Watson 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

and Martin (1973) have described the 
larvae of A. australiacus as unspecialised, 
with a median anus, the mouth disc con- 
taining six upper and three lower labial 
teeth rows, and an anterior gap in the 
papillary border. The tadpoles are large, 
reaching a total length of 75 mm (G. R. 
Gillespie pers. obs.). 

Spawn believed to belong to H. aus- 
traliacus was found in a burrow near 
Sydney in April, by Fletcher (1984). Har- 
rison (1922) found larvae in small flowing 
streams and observed metamorphosis 
during October and November. From 
records in the Sydney region he concluded 
that there was a limited spawning season 
in autumn, during which he had also heard 
the species calling. However, Littlejohn 
and Martin (1967) collected spawn near 
Walhalla, in Victoria, in February. Lee 
(1967) collected a spent female in January, 
and Chesterfield ef a/. (1983) believed that 
the female they collected in January, was 
gravid. Two of the tadpoles collected by 
the author in March had completed meta- 
morphosis by early May, while others 
ceased to develop past growing hind limbs. 
This may be indicative of over-wintering, 
whereby late-developing tadpoles delay 
completion of their development until 
more favourable conditions return in 
spring. This strategy has been reported in 
other species of amphibians (Duellman 
and Trueb 1986). 

These records suggest that the breeding 
season may begin in summer and continue 
through to autumn, with larval life occu- 
pying up to six months, through to Oc- 
tober and November. 

The timing of breeding of H. aust- 
raliacus is not limited by seasonal water 
availability as are its congeners in the west. 
Consequently, a longer breeding season is 
not unexpected. 

With only two exceptions, all vocal 
records of H. australiacus have been from 
individuals in burrows, usually adja- 
cent to water. Watson and Martin (1973) 
noted that egg masses were deposited in 
standing or flowing water, concealed in 


Research Reports 

vegetation or in burrows. Heleioporus 
australiacus appears to primarily utilize 
small flowing streams as breeding sites. 
The record of a male calling from a dam 
indicates that these may also be used as 
breeding sites. However, subsequent visits 
to this site in the months of October, 
November, February and March have 
failed to detect this species (G. R. Gillespie 
pers. obs.; Opie ef al. 1984). 


Examinations of the stomach contents 
and a faecal pellet of H. australiacus have 
revealed that a broad range of arthropod 
groups are included in the diet. Webb 
(1983, 1987) found ants, followed by 
beetles, to be most numerous in the 
stomachs. The other groups recorded 
include woodlice, cockroaches, collem- 
bolans, grasshoppers, moths, and a sig- 
nificant proportion of noxious or poten- 
tially venemous prey in the way of scor- 
pions, spiders, centipedes and millipedes 
(Littlejohn and Martin 1967; Rose 1974; 
Webb 1983, 1987). Prey size ranges greatly, 
from 5 mm to 65 mm in length. However, 
most prey items are about 10 mm long 

(Webb 1983, 1987). These results suggest — 

that, like most Australian anurans, H. 
australiacus is probably a generalist 
predator, the primary stimulus for feeding 
being movement (Tyler 1989). 

Conservation Status 

The limited number of records of H. 
australiacus from eastern Victoria and 
southern New South Wales indicates that 
the species is rare in this area. Except for 
one record near Jervis Bay, there are no 
known records of this species between the 
Sydney and Bombala - Eden regions, 
indicating two potentially disjunct popul- 
ations. Ahern (1982) classified the status 
of H. australiacus within Victoria as 
indeterminate, possibly threatened. Rob- 
ertson (1987) described the abundance and 
distribution of this species as being rare 
in habitat of limited extent, and also 
assigned it indeterminate status. However, 


the broad range of forest types from which 
it has been recorded suggests that this 
species may have a wider geographic 
distribution, and be more abundant, than 
the present records suggest. Webb (1987) 
noted that H. australiacus is extremely 
cryptic and that most records of this 
species in New South Wales resulted from 
detection of calling males after heavy rain. 
All of the Victorian sightings of active 
individuals have been at night, and most 
were made immediately after heavy and 
prolonged rainstorms, In Western Aust- 
ralia species of Heleioporus are also 
nocturnal, emerging from their burrows 
every 2-4 nights to feed, and burrowing 
underground before sunrise (Lee 1967). If 
H. australiacus occupies a burrow by day 
and emerges only at night after rain, the 
chances of detecting it are small. This 
difficulty in detection is compounded by 
limitations of surveys on amphibians in 
eastern Victoria, and the low level of 
human presence in these forest areas. 

It is notable, however, that during 
the past three spring-summer-autumn 
seasons, intensive flora and fauna surveys 
have been conducted on and adjacent to 
the Errinundra Plateau, and in other areas 
of East Gippsland (Duncan and Peel in 
prep.; Humphries ef a/. in prep.; Lobert e/ 
al. in prep.; Westaway et al. 1990; Westaway 
etal. inprep.; G. R. Gillespie unpublished 
data), Extensive pitfall trapping was car- 
ried out during these surveys totalling 5400 
pitfall nights, with attention being given 
to potential habitat for Heleioporus. Small 
streams and other waterbodies were inves- 
tigated, and tracks were scanned for indi- 
viduals in transit on nights after heavy 
rainstorms typical of the region, Although 
conditions appeared to be favourable, on 
no occasion was this species detected 
during any of these surveys. 

The impact of silvicultural practices on 
this forest-dependent species is not known. 
Timber harvesting by clearfelling may 
cause disturbance to habitats in several 
ways (A.B.R.G. 1985). The invertebrate 
litter fauna, a potential food source, is 

Victorian Nat. 

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Research Reports 

likely to be adversely affected by burning 
the litter layer (Campbell et al. 1984), 
which is a common practice to promote 
regeneration after timber harvesting. 

Amphibian larvae of different species 
have varying ranges of tolerances to en- 
vironmental variables such as temperature, 
salinity and nutrient levels (Duellman and 
Trueb 1986). In contrast to amphibian 
species which are able to opportunistically 
utilise standing bodies of water, in which 
fluctuations in temperature, nutrient and 
oxygen levels may be extreme, the larvae 
of species which rely on permanent 
streams for their reproduction are likely to 
be less tolerant of such changes because 
the normal stream environment is more 
stable. Stream-adapted larvae may also be 
dependent on particular flow rates. Exces- 
sive flow rates may flush larvae out of 
favourable habitat and diminished flow 
may affect movement, food availability, 
temperature and predator levels (Petranka 

Within timber-harvesting areas, har- 
vesting prescriptions require that linear 
streamside reserves of at least 20 m width 
are prescribed along either side of 
permanent streams, swampy ground and 
bodies of standing water, and 5 m along 
intermittent streams and gullies, to protect 
water quality (Conservation, Forests and 
Lands 1988). However, investigations by 
Pittock (1989) indicate that these 
prescriptions frequently are not met. 
Several studies indicate that timber har- 
vesting and road construction activities 
may affect temperature, nutrient levels and 
water yields (Boughton 1970; Brown 1972; 
Clinnick 1985; Cornish and Binns 1987; 
Flinn ef a/. 1983; Langford and O’Shaugh- 
nessy 1980; Mackay and Cornish 1982; 
Metzeling 1977; MMBW 1980). While 
these studies do not apply directly to the 
range of soil types and vegetation within 
the known distribution of H. australiacus, 
it is apparent that streams are affected by 
timber harvesting to varying degrees, Such 
disturbances may potentially affect the 
viability of populations of amphibians 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990). 

such as H. australiacus. The Department 
of Conservation, Forests and Lands (1988) 
also prescribes linear reserves of at least 
40 m width to link areas excluded from 
harvesting and reserves at various seral 
stages along mid-slopes and/or ridge-tops, 
in addition to any streamside reserves. 
However, it is not known whether amphi- 
bians are able to utilize these reserves as 

Heleioporus australiacus is poorly 
represented within the Victorian National 
Parks system. There have recently been 
significant extensions to the National 
Parks system within the geographic dis- 
tribution of H. australiacus, with the 
formation of the Roger River extension 
of the Snowy River National Park and 
the new Errinundra and Coopracambra 
National Parks (National Parks Amend- 
ment Act May 1988). However, only the 
record from Waratah Access Track is 
incorporated in the Roger River extension. 
All other records are within timber har- 
vesting areas, Five of the more recent 
records of this species have resulted from 
intensive flora and fauna surveys by the 
Flora and Fauna Survey and Management 
Group, Department of Conservation and 
Environment, in eastern Victoria, and have 
consequently been included in areas re- 
served from timber harvesting. In general, 
the boundaries of these reserves are de- 
fined by ridge-lines, gullies, roads and 
other visible topographic features and vary 
between approximately 150 and 600 ha 
(Carr et al. 1984; Chesterfield ef a/, 1983, 
1988; Macfarlane et al. 1984; Cherry ef al. 
1986; Opie ef a/. 1990). Reserves of this size 
are unlikely to maintain viable populations 
because the potentially small and gene- 
tically-isolated populations supported by 
them will be vulnerable to stochastic 
catastrophies such as fire, and the detri- 
mental effects of inbreeding depression. 
Some of these areas are adjacent to 
National Parks or connected to them by 
other linear reserves. However, until more 
information on the distribution, popu- 
lation size, breeding biology and dispersal 


Research Reports 

of this species comes to light, the effec- 
tiveness of these reserves will remain 

Heleioporus australiacus is one of 

several amphibian species occurring in 
eastern Victoria, whose ecology and status 
are poorly understood, Little information 
is available on their basic biology, or their 
vulnerability to existing land management 
practices. We cannot be confident that 
management prescriptions are adequate 
until the ecological requirements of these 
species are clarified. 


I wish to gratefully acknowledge the 
following people: Jean Mare Hero, Murray 
Littlejohn and Peter Robertson for their 
comments on the text and fruitfull dis- 
cussion about frogs. Stephan Henry, 
Andrew Bennett, Greg Horrocks and lan 
Lunt for reading the text and constructive 


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Lobert, B. O,, Gillespie, G. R., Lunt, I. D., Peacock, 
R. J. and Robinson, P, D. (in prep.). Flora and 
Fauna of the Goolengook Forest Block, East 
Gippsland, Victoria. Dep. Conserv. and Env., Ecol 
Survey Report No, 35. 

Lunney, D. and Barker, J. (1986). Survey of reptiles and 
amphibians of the coastal forests near Bega, 
N.SMW. Aust. Zool, 22: 1-7. 

Macfarlane, M. A., Loyn, R. H., Chesterfield, E. A., 
Traill, B. J. and Triggs, B. E. (1984). Flora and 
Fauna of the Scorpion and Dawson Forest Blocks, 
East Gippsland, Victoria. Dep. Consery., For, & 
Lands, State For, & Lands Sery., Ecol. Survey 
Report No. 5. 

Mackay, S. M. and Cornish, P. M. (1982). Effects of 
wildfire and logging on the hydrology of small 
catchments near Eden, N.SW. Jn ‘Proceedings of 
the First National Symposium on Forest 
Hydrology’. Melbourne Institute of Engineers. 
Publication 82/6, pp. 111-17. 

Metzeling, L. H. (1977). An investigation of the 
distribution of aquatic macro-invertebrates found 
in streams flowing through areas with differing 
amounts of vegetation cover. B.Sc.(Hons.) Thesis, 
Monash University, Melbourne. 

M.M.BW. (1980). Water Supply Catchment Hydrology 
Research: Summary of Technical conclusions to 
1979. Report No. W-0012, Melbourne and 
Metropolitan Board of Works. 

Moore, J. A. (1961). The frogs of eastern New South 
Wales. Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 121; 149-386. 

Opie, A. M., Cherry, K. A., Horrocks, G. F. B., Carr, 
G. W., Schulz, M. and Triggs, B. E. (1984). Flora 
and Fauna of the Yalmy Forest Block, East 
Gippsland, Victoria. Dep. Conserv., For, & Lands, 
Ecol. Survey Report No. 2. 

Opie, A. M., Gillespie, G. R., Henry, S. R., Hurley, 
V. A., Lobert, B. O. and Westaway, J. (1990). Flora 
and Fauna Survey of the Coast Range Forest 
Block, Part II, East Gippsland, Victoria, Dep. 
Conserv. and Env., Ecol, Survey Report No, 24. 

Parkes, D., Morres, A, and Williams, J. (1985), East 
Gippsland: Floristic Vegetation Map (1:250,000) 
and Guide to Plant Communities. (Nat. Herb., 
Dep. Conserv., For. & Lands: Victoria). 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

Petranka, J. W. (1984). Incubation, larval growth, and 
embryonic and larval survivalship of smallmouth 
salamanders (Ambystoma texanum) in streams. 
Copeia, 1984; 862-868. 

Pittock, J. (1989), Timber Harvesting in National 
Estate Forests in East Gippsland. Vol. 1. East 
Gippsland Coalition, Melbourne. 

Robertson, P. (1987). Amphibians and reptiles in 
Victoria. Jn ‘Nature Conservation in Victoria 
Study Report, Vol. I’. Eds D. Frood and M. Calder, 
(School of Botany, University of Melbourne), 
pp. 160-74. 

Rose, A. B. (1974). Gut contents of some Australian 
amphibians and reptiles. Herpetofauna, 7: 4-8. 

Tyler, M. J. (1989), Australian Frogs. (Penguin: 

Watson, G. F. and Martin, A. A. (1973). Life history, 
larval morphology and relationships of Australian 
Leptodactylid frogs. Trans. Roy. Sec. Vic., 97: 

Webb, G. A. (1983). Diet in a herpetofauna community 
on the Hawkesbury Sandstone Formation in the 
Sydney area, Herpetofauna, 14: 87-91. 

Webb, G. A. (1987). A note on the distribution and 
diet of the Giant Burrowing Frog, Heleioporus 
australiacus (Shaw and Nodder (1795) Anura: 
Myobatrachidae). Herpetofauna, 17: 20-2. 

Westaway, J., Cherry, K. A., Gillespie, G. R., Henry, 
5. R. and Mueck, S, G. (in press). Flora and Fauna 
of the Fainting Range and Lower Wilkinson Forest 
Blocks, East Gippsland, Victoria. Dep. Conserv. 
and Env., Ecol. Survey Report No. 27. 

Westaway, J., Henry, S. R., Gillespie, G. R., Scotts, D. 
J. and Mueck, S. G., (1990). Flora and Fauna of 
the West Errinundra and Delegate Forest Blocks, 
East Gippsland, Victoria, Dep. Conserv. and Env., 
Ecol. Survey Report No. 31. 


Research Reports 

Germination in eight native species of herbaceous dicot and 
implications for their use in revegetation 
S. McIntyre* 


Seeds collected from ten populations 
and eight species of annual and perennial 
dicot were examined for germinability 
after two storage periods (3-9 weeks and 
18-24 weeks). Poranthera microphylla, 
Wahlenbergia communis, W._ stricta, 
Urtica incisa, Crassula sieberana, Senecio 
sp. E (aff. apargiifolius), Acaena ovina and 
Plantago debilis were tested in constant 
and fluctuating temperatures and in dark 
and light conditions. All species had a 
germination rate of 40% or more in at 
least one of the treatments after 18-24 
weeks storage. A wide range of germina- 
tion responses was recorded and no single 
set of conditions resulted in optimal ger- 
mination for all species. The ecological 
implications of the differing responses are 
discussed. Basic ecological profiles of a 
range of plants, together with existing 
general ecological principles, will provide 
the most useful information base from 
which to develop skills in revegetation with 
native herbaceous plants. 


Ecological studies of native, herbaceous 
dicots in Australia have lagged behind 
research concerned with trees, shrubs and 
grasses, despite the importance of herba- 
ceous plants in most vegetation types. 
Herbaceous natives have also been neglec- 
ted in revegetation exercises in Australia 
which, until recently, have concentrated 
almost entirely on the establishment of 
woody vegetation (eg. Venning 1985). 
With increasing pressure on remaining 
areas of natural vegetation, there is a grow- 
ing demand for knowledge and informa- 
tion that will enable disturbed areas to be 

* Department of Ecosystem Management, University 
of New England, Armidale, New South Wales 2351. 


restored to some semblance of their ori- 
ginally vegetated condition, including the 
understorey herbaceous component. 

Herbaceous species can play a major 
role both as components of the restored 
vegetation and as agents in the estab- 
lishment process. Annual and short-lived 
perennial plants are frequently colonizers 
of disturbed areas in natural vegetation, 
a feature that could be exploited in the 
restoration process. Seedling establishment 
is a critical phase in revegetation and a 
knowledge of germination characteristics 
will provide clues to successful manage- 
ment at this stage. Response to light and 
fluctuating temperatures indicate the im- 
portance of bare ground or canopy gaps 
in seedling emergence (Thompson and 
Grime 1983; McIntyre et al. 1989). Tem- 
perature response may suggest suitable 
planting seasons while the presence of seed 
dormancy may indicate the potential to 
develop seed reserves in the soil. 

This study provides some initial germin- 
ation of data for eight species of annual 
and perennial herb that have a widespread 
distribution in eastern Australia. Seed 
from ten populations was collected on the 
Northern Tablelands, New South Wales, 
and tested for dormancy and germinability 
under three germination conditions and 
after two different storage periods. 


Seed collections were made between 
October and December 1988. Seed was 
collected either from remnant bushland on 
the University of New England campus, 
Armidale, New South Wales (grid refer- 
ence Guyra 9237-695266) or from the 
Newholme Field Laboratory, 8 km north 
of Armidale. In order to obtain sufficient 
mature seed, collections from each popu- 
lation were made over a period of several 

Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

Table 1. Details of seed collections made in spring-summer 1988. U.N.E, = University of New 
England campus, Armidale; Newholme = Newholme Field Laboratory, 8 km north of Armidale, 
Nomenclature follows Jacobs and Pickard (1981), 

Time of seed Parent 
Species Locality collection Habitat material 
Poranthera microphylla Brongn. Newholme Nov. open forest granite 
Wahlenbergia communis Carolin U.N.E. Oct-Nov. open forest basalt 
Wahlenbergia stricta Sweet Newholme Oct-Nov. pasture granite 
Wahlenbergia stricta Sweet Newholme Nov. open forest granite 
Urtica incisa Poitr. Newholme Nov. open forest granite 
Crassula sieberana (Schult.) Druce Newholme Oct-Nov. open forest granite 
Senecio sp. E (aff. apargiifolius) Newholme Nov. open forest granite 
Acaena oving A. Cunn, U.N.E. Nov, open forest _ basalt 
Plantago debilis R.Br, Newholme Nov. open forest granite 
Plantago debilis R.Br. U.N.E. Dec. open forest basalt 

weeks. Collection details are presented in 
Table 1. Two of the species collected Por- 
anthera microphylla and Crassula sieber- 
ana are monocarpic and the remaining 
plants are herbaceous perennials. 

Germination experiments were conduc- 
ted in December 1988 and April 1989. 
Because of inter- and intra-population 
variation in the timing of reproductive 
maturity, seed age varied from 3-9 weeks 
in the first trial and 18-24 weeks in the 
second. Freshly collected seed was dried 
and stored in an unheated laboratory 
(temperature range 15-25 °C) up until the 
first trial. Between the first and second 
trial, seeds were stored dry at 14°C. All 
seeds were tested for germination in the 
following treatments: 

1) Constant temperature, 23°C in light 
2) Alternating temperatures (8 hours at 
23°C, 16 hours at 10°C), in light 
3) Alternating temperatures (8 hours at 

23°C, 16 hours at 10°C), in darkness. 

The temperatures represent the average 
weekly maximum (23°C) and minimum 
(10°C) in Armidale during spring, summer 
and autumn. The storage temperature 
(14°C) represents the mean temperature in 
Armidale. Germination trials were con- 
ducted in temperature-controlled cabinets 
illuminated with fluorescent tubes. Petri 

Vol, 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

dishes were lined with filter paper. Four 
replicate dishes were used, each containing 
50 seeds. Dishes were sealed after the 
addition of 3 ml of distilled water. Dark 
treatments were wrapped in aluminium 
foil. Germination was checked at weekly 
intervals in the light treatments. The dark 
treatments were checked at the end of the 
experiment, on day 21. Seeds were not 
tested for viability, but only healthy well- 
developed seeds were used in the trials. 
Percentage germination data were arcsin 
transformed. Confidence intervals (95%) 
were calculated for the transformed data 
which were then back-transformed for 
data presentation. 

Results and discussion 

Seed from all populations showed in- 
creased germination after storage with the 
exception of Plantago debilis (granite) and 
Senecio sp. which had very high germina- 
tion in both fresh seed and stored seed 
(Table 2). All species had germination 
percentages of 40% or more in at least one 
of the treatments after 18-24 weeks storage. 
A wide range of germination responses 
was recorded and no single set of con- 
ditions resulted in optimal germination for 
all species. 


Research Reports 

Table 2, Percentage germination of eight herbaceous plants after 21 days, Seed was stored at 14°C 
and germinated in (1) light at constant temperature 23 °C (= constant); (2) fluctuating temperatures 
(8 hrs 23°C, l6 hrs 10°C) in light (luctuating) or (3) dark conditions (dark), Bold numbers are 

means, with 95% confidence limits indicated by the smaller numbers. 

3-9 weeks 

Seed age 
18-24 weeks 

Dark Constant Fluctuating 

Species Constant Mluctuating, Dark 

PB. microphylla 20.35.52 17.34.51 7. 24-45 59. 73-86 32. 64.92 3. 8-14 
WE communis 0 18-39-02 16- 30 47 28-55-81 32-57-81 61-77-90 
Wi stricta (pasture) 15-21-28 12.16 21 5-05 2 39. 48-57 13-29-49 0 

We stricta (forest) 7-13 1 15 36 0 5 -l4 22. 40-60 29. 40-52 0-15-40 
Urtica incisa 4-13 14-23-35 50.5.2 1 6-16 45-53-61 2-6 -13 
Crassula sieberana 16 5063 0 0 58-77-93 14-38-66 0. 2 -5 

Senecio sp. 5K. 72.84 65-70-75 53-67 -80 68-81-93 68-79-88 64-71-79 
Alcaena ovina 6 10-15 20-36-55 2- 12 -24 0-22-61 30-53-76 17-31-46 
P. debilis (granite) 85.95.100 91. 95.98 4 6 10 92.97.100 92.98.99 3-27-61 
P. debilis (basalt) fo Qe 8 78. 84.89 91.94.97 12-21-30 

5. 34-70 7- 13°21 

The most common response was for 
germination to be inhibited by darkness. 
This was apparent in stored seed of Por- 
anthera microphylla, Wahlenbergia 
stricta, Urtica incisor, Crassula sieberana 
and Plantago debilis, Fluctuating 
temperatures appeared to be associated 
with increased germination in fresh seed 
of HW. communis and Acaena ovina while 
fresh and stored seed of U. incisor 
germinated best in the presence of both 
light and fluctuating temperatures. 

These results provide only a brief over- 
view of germination responses and do not 
unravel the complex of behaviour that is 
associated with germination in most plant 
species. In addition, care must be taken 
when extrapolating responses of labora- 
tory-stored seed to behavior in the field, 
as there may be important differences e.g. 
seed stored dry in the laboratory may be 
less dormant than seed exposed to wet- 
ting/drying conditions outside (MeIntyre 
ef al, 1989). Despite these difficulties it is 
possible to place some tentative ecological 
interpretations on the results. 

Stored seed of two species (Senecio sp. 
and Wahlenbergia communis) had over 


50% germination in all three treatments 
provided; all the other populations pro- 
duced seed that remained dormant under 
at least one of the germination conditions 
provided. For the latter group, the devel- 
opment of reserves of dormant seed in the 
soil seems a greater possibility, as the 
results indicate that burial or other mech- 
anisms could prevent germination in the 
field. The lack of dormancy in relatively 
fresh seed of Senecio sp. suggests that this 
species may not accumulate reserves of 
seed in the soil and if populations of 
Senecio were to be destroyed, recoloni- 
zation would largely depend on dispersal 
of seed from seeding populations else- 
where. The presence of a pappus on the 
seeds of Senecio provides a mechanism 
whereby wind dispersal would be possible. 
None of the other species possessed mech- 
anisms for wind dispersal. A second popu- 
lation (Plantago debilis - granite 
population) also exhibited full germina- 
tion after only a few weeks storage, but 
germination of these seeds was inhibited 
by darkness. If freshly fallen seed of these 
plants were to be buried it is conceivable 
that a seed bank would develop. 

Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

Seeds produced in spring-summer could 
potentially be used for sowing in the 
following late summer-autumn period. 
This may also be the pattern of natural 
regeneration although it is not known 
whether field conditions impose dormancy 
on seeds, delaying their germination until 
later seasons. Regional climatic conditions 
and temperature tolerances of individual 
species would determine appropriate 
planting seasons. In southern Victoria, 
Hitchmough ef al, (1989) achieved success- 
ful establishment in eight species of native 
dicot sown in mid-winter. The cold tem- 
peratures and frequent frosts of the 
Northern Tablelands may make winter 
sowing less suitable for some species in this 

In situations where germination is in- 
hibited by darkness, seeds sown on or near 
the soil surface may have better rates of 
seedling emergence. This conclusion is 
tentatively supported by the work of 
Hitchmough et ai. (1989) who found 
emergence of the two light-responsive 
species (Stylidium graminifolium and 
Wahlenbergia stricta) to be restricted to the 
top few millimetres of soil. Seed size is also 
a factor in seedling emergence. Small- 
seeded plants (e.g. Wahlenbergia spp., 
Poranthera microphylla and Crassula 
sieberana), and seedlings arising from 
them, are likely to be adversely affected by 
seed burial. Interestingly, germination in 
these three species was inhibited by 
darkness, whilst that in the largest-seeded 
species (Acaena ovina) was not. Seedlings 
derived from larger seeds are less likely to 
be disadvantaged by burial as their larger 
size and greater food reserves assist pene- 
tration to the soil surface where photo- 
synthesis can commence (Harper ef al. 
1970; Schimpf 1977). 

The principles that apply to seed burial 
and emergence are also relevant to the 

\question of soil coverings. Seedlings that 
jare unable to establish from buried seed 

‘ol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

are unlikely to readily establish in existing 
plant swards or through dense plant litter 
(e.g. the native grass Diplachne fusca, 
McIntyre et al. 1989). Plants have a varying 
dependency on open space, and gaps in the 
canopy cover, to establish. Species that are 
particularly dependent on gaps for 
regeneration may be associated with a suite 
of inter-related ecological characteristics 
e.g. a light requirement for germination, 
stimulation of germination in response to 
temperature fluctuations, small-seeded- 
ness, early reproduction and rapid growth 
rates (Grime 1979), Reproduction of such 
plants are disturbance-dependent and the 
term weediness is often applied to them, 
although the term weed is used for a much 
wider and more ecologically varied group 
of plants. 

Generalizations such as these help us to 
make sense of a bewildering array of 
taxonomic and ecological diversity. They 
assist us in making informed guesses as to 
how unfamiliar plants may behave and in 
allowing revegetation projects to be 
planned in a more directed way (e.g. see 
Grime 1980). Obviously any attempts at 
generalization can result in a loss of 
information that may be important, For 
example, the concept of variation within 
a species may have important conservation 
and practical implications. This was evi- 
dent in the species from which seed from 
two populations was collected (Wahlen- 
bergia stricta and Plantago debilis). Both 
showed variations in dormancy of fresh 
seed. This type of ecological variation may 
have relevance in revegetation, while mor- 
phological variation can reflect genetic 
diversity of conservation significance. 
Because our knowledge of Australian her- 
baceous species is so limited, successful re- 
yegetation in the future will require the 
flexible application of general principles, 
combined with attention to detail and 
good experimentation. 


Research Reports 


This work was supported by a Uni- 
versity of New England Internal Research 
Grant and the Newholme Funds Alloca- 
tion Scheme, University of New England. 
Thanks to R.D.B. Whalley for useful dis- 
cussion and comments. 


Grime, J. P. (1979), ‘Plant Strategies and Vegetation 
Processes’. (Wiley: Chichester). 

Grime, J. P. (1980). An ecological approach to man- 
agement. /n ‘Amenity Grassland: An Ecological 
Perspective’. Eds I. H. Rorison and R. Hunt, pp. 
13-55. (Wiley: Chichester). 

Harper, J. L., Lovell, P. H. and Moore, K. G. (1970). 

The shapes and sizes of seeds. Annual Review of 

Ecology and Systematics 1: 327-56. 

Hitchmough, J., Berkeley, S. and Cross, R. (1989). 
Flowering grasslands in the Australian landscape. 
Landscape Australia 11: 394-403. 

Jacobs, S. W. L. and Pickard J. (1981). ‘Plants of New 
South Wales’. (Government Printer: Sydney). 

McIntyre, S., Mitchell, D. S. and Ladiges, P. Y. (1989). 
Germination and seedling emergence in Diplachne 

fusca: a semi-aquatic weed of rice. Journal of 

Applied Ecology 26: 551-62. 

Schimpf, D. J. (1977). Seed weight of Amaranthus 
retroflexus in relation to moisture and length of 
growing season. Ecology 58: 450-53. 

Thompson, K. and Grime, J. P. (1983). A comparative 
study of germination responses to diurnally fluc- 
tuating temperatures. Journal of Applied Ecology 

* 20: 141-56. 

Venning J. (1985) (ed.) ‘Revegetation Workshop’. (De- 
partment of Planning and Environment: Adelaide). 


Victorian Nat. 


Research Reports 

Record of a Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) 
skeleton from Altona Bay, Victoria, Australia 
Joan M. Dixon* 


In November 1989, following a call from 
the discoverer Mrs. D. Graham, the author 
examined parts of a skeleton which had 
been salvaged from Altona Bay approxi- 
mately 3 kilometres from Point Cook, 
Victoria (37°52'S 144°52'E) (Fig. 1). 

The material had been subjected to 
water action over a long period, the length 
of which could not be determined. It 
consisted of right and left auditory bullae, 
scapulae, part of the nasal septum, chev- 
ron bones and epiphysis of a vertebral 
body. It was in relatively good condition, 
apart from the right scapula, which was 
not saved. The material was taken to the 
Museum of Victoria for examination and 
identification, and an accession number 
of C27879 allocated. Examination of the 
scapula (Fig. 2) and bullae (Fig. 3) indi- 
cated that the specimen is a Southern 
Right Whale, Eubalaena australis. 

The only other material of this species 
in the Museum of Victoria is a piece of 
baleen from Portland, (38 °21'S, 141°36’E), 
(C23598), collected about 1861, and cer- 
vical vertebrae of a specimen lacking data 
(C23570). Portland Bay, south-western 
Victoria, was a centre of ‘bay whaling’ 
from about 1828 onward. The Right 
Whale was one of two species commonly 
frequenting the Bay, but its numbers 
declined markedly, to the verge of 

In recent years Right Whales have been 
sighted near Warrnambool and this has 
become a popular feature of the area. The 
most recent sighting in western Victoria 
was in Apollo Bay in June 1990 (pers. 
comm. C. Murdoch). Lumsden and 
Schultz (1983) reported a sighting in 
eastern Victoria at Venus Bay (38°40'S, 
145 °46'E). 

_ * Curator of Mammals, Museum of Victoria, 328 
Swanston Street, Melbourne, Vic., 3000 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

Material in Australian and New Zealand 

Few examples of the species are located 
in other Australian museums, despite 
intensive hunting of Southern Right 
Whales in the early to mid 19th century. 

Aitken (1971) commented on the abs- 
ence of any representative material of this 
species in the South Australian Museum 
during the period of over-exploitation 
which resulted in the subsequent rarity of 
the species. There was no authenticated 
sighting of E. australis there during the 
first half of the 20th century, but they were 
observed in South Australia from 1968, 
and in 1981, Aitken salvaged the bulla of 
a specimen 11.5 m long from Orwell Rocks 
(38°03 '00"S, 140°44'00"E (pers. comm. 
Kemper, 1989). 

The only other osteological material of 
this species in an Australian museum is 
held in the Western Australian Museum, 
an auditory bulla, M11374, collected from 
the Rocky Coast off Warton Street Reserve 
(32°00'25"S, 115°44'55"E) in 1974 by N. 
Green. This specimen is thought to have 
originated from “The Elizabeth” housing 
John Gilbert’s collection in 1838. 

In New Zealand, there is one skeleton 
in the Otago Museum, and a second in the 
Dominion Museum, Wellington (Gaskin, 
1968). A skeleton with baleen from Akaroa 
Harbour is held in the Paris Museum. 

Taxonomy and Morphology 

The northern and southern hemisphere 
Right Whales have received considerable 
taxonomic attention. Available literature 
on Balaena from the northern hemisphere 
indicates that there is considerable vari- 
ation in the form. Several species have been 
erected, but Corbet and Hill (1988) include 
only two species, B. glacialis (australis) 
from all temperate and subantarctic seas, 
and B. mysticetus from the Arctic Ocean. 


Research Reports 


Same 5 
‘ a: 

Fig. 1. Location of Eubalaena glacialis C27879 at Altona Bay, Victoria. Photo: J, Dixon. 

Oliver (1922) comments that the degree of 
distinction between B. glacialis and B. 
australis is arguable. He had insufficient 
specimens available to him to make further 
comments. Schevill (1976) uses the name 
Bubalaena australis, which | have also 
used here. 

Studies on the morphology of Right 
Whales have been undertaken by Allen 
(1908), Andrews (1908), True (1904), Turner 
(1912) and Omura et a/. (1969), They have 
been involved with northern hemisphere 
animals, and little attention has been given 
to the osteology and general biology of 
southern hemisphere specimens. 

The Altona Bay specimen 

The effect of continued exposure or 
immersion of the Altona specimen un- 
doubtedly weathered it considerably. The 
loss of ephiphyses from the vertebrae may 
reflect this, or it may indicate that the 
animal was immature. 

The scapula is the only well preserved 
and identifiable bone of the appendicular 
skeleton. Its glenoid or caudal border is 


reasonably evenly concave from the glen- 
oid fossa half-way to the vertebral border, 
but distally it is fairly straight. The two 

. parts of the border are separated by several 

projecting tubercles. 

The vertebral border is evenly convex. 
The coracoid or cranial border is short, 
and distally projects beyond the border in 
a marked tuberosity. Bony tubercles are 
found below it, and on the slightly concave 
border running proximally towards the 
acromion. This is a bulbous area which is 
directed downward and outward. Its free 
border is worn and convex. 

The outer surface is concave in the 
centre, convex towards caudal and cranial 
borders and towards the glenoid fossa, The 
body of the inner surface is rounded, the 
sides almost flat, and the surface above the 
glenoid fossa convex. 

The acromion is almost square, its distal 
edge slightly rounded, mainly due to wear. 
The lateral extremities are irregular, due 
to the presence of downwardly pointing 

Victorian Nat. 

Research Reports 

Fig. 2. Left scapula of E. glacialis from the outer 
aspect (Scale 30cm ruler). Photo: J. Dixon. 

Measurements of the scapula are pre- 
sented in Table 1. It has not been possible 
to estimate the length of the specimen 
using the scapula measurements of other 
workers, although the Amangasett whale 
(Andrews 1908), with a slightly larger 
scapula than the present specimen, has a 
total length of 16.4 m. Baker (1983) 
indicates that the maximum length of the 
southern species is 18 m. 


The bullae of the specimen were com- 
pared with those in the literature, with an 

Table 1. Measurements of left scapula C27879 

(in mm) 

Maximum breadth of scapula 1100 
Maximum height of scapula 860 
Length of suprascapula curve 1350 
Length of caudal border 650 
Length of cranial border 810 
Width of glenoid fossa 345 
Length of acromion process 

(from glenoid fossa extremity) 350 
Greatest breadth of same (at base) 375 

| Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

identified example from the South Aust- 
ralian Museum, M14135, and with the 
sketch of the Western Australian Museum 
example, M11374. The left bulla is shown 
in Fig. 2. Some measurements of the 
available Australian material are given in 
Table 2. 

Whaling activities in the Altona Bay region 

In the early days of settlement, whaling 
activities were not uncommon in Port 
Phillip Bay. There is a record of a specimen 
(species not known) harpooned off Wil- 
liamstown in 1839, which was sold for 
£80.00, and numerous records of whale 
chases in the area (Evans 1969). The 
Williamstown whaling company was pro- 
posed in 1866 to hunt in Bass Strait, but 
this was not successful. 

Table 2. Measurements of bullae (in mm) 

Museum No. Height Width 
C27879 (left) 126 169 
C27879 (right) 128 161 
M14135 (left) 136 151 
M11374 (left) 130 141 

Fig. 3, Left scapula of E. glacialis C27879 from 
the inner aspect. (Scale 30cm ruler). Photo: J, Dixon. 


Research Reports 

Fig. 4. Left tympanic bulla of EF. glacialis 
C27879. Inner surface. Photo: J. Augier. 

Undoubtedly there are skeletons of 
flensed whales buried in the sands of the 
Port Phillip shoreline. The Altona Bay 
record is possibly one of these, but there 
is NO positive evidence. The specimen was 
obviously large as indicated by the sizes of 
scapula and bullae. After a water-logged 
past its present condition is not good, but 
there is no obvious indication of sub-fossil 


Thanks are extended to Mrs. D. Graham, 
who alerted me to the specimen, and to 
Graeme Challis and Kate Breuer, Museum 
of Victoria, for assistance in the produc- 
tion of the publication. Loan of material 
from Dr. Cath Kemper, S.A.M. and infor- 
mation from Noraah Cooper, W.A.M. is 
appreciated. Lisa Giuliani typed the 
manuscript, and Jon Augier assisted with 


Aitken, P. F. (1971). Whales from the coast of South 
Australia. Trans. R. Soc. §. Aust. 95: 95-103. 
Allen, J. A. (1908). The North Atlantic Right Whale 
and its near allies. Bull. Am. Mus, Nat. Hist. 24: 



Andrews, P. C. (1908), Notes upon the external and 
internal anatomy of Balaena glacialis Bonn. Bull. 
Am. Mus. Nat. Hist, 24: 277-329, 

Baker, A. N. (1983). ‘Whales and dolphins of New 
Zealand and Australia. An Identification Guide’. 
(Victoria University Press: Wellington). 

Corbet, G. and Hill, J. E. (1988). ‘A World List of 
Mammalian Species. 2nd Ed? (British Museum; 

Evans, W. P. (1969). ‘Port of Many Prows’. (Hawthorn 
Press: Melbourne). 

Gaskin, D. E. (1968). The New Zealand Cetacea 
Fisheries Research Bulletin No. 1 (New Series). 
(New Zealand Marine Department: Wellington). 

Lumsden, L. F. and Schulz, M, (1983). A sighting of 
Southern Right Whales (Ba/aena apicalis 
australis) at Venus Bay, Victoria. Victorian Nat. 
100; 211-12. 

Oliver, W. R. B. (1922). A review of the Cetacea of the 
New Zealand Seas. Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond. 1922: 

Omura, H. (1958), North Pacific Right Whale. Sci, 
Rep. Whales. Res. Inst. 13: 1-32. 

Omura, H., Ohsumi, S., Nemoto, T., Nasu, K. and 
Kasuya, T. (1969). Black Right Whales in the 
North Pacific. Sci, Rep. Whales Res. Inst. 21: 1-78. 

Schevill, W. F. (1986). Appendix 5. Right Whale 
nomenclature. Jn Special Reports of the 
International Whaling Commission No. 10. 

True, F. W. (1904). The Whalebone Whales of the 
Western North Atlantic. Smiths. Contrib. 33: 

Turner, W. (1912). The Right Whale of the North 
Atlantic, Balaena biscayensis: its skeleton 

described and compared with that of the 
Greenland Right Whale Balaena mysticetus. 
Trans. Roy. Soc. Edin. 48: 889-922. 

Fig. 5. Left tympanic bulla of E. glacialis 
C27879. Outer surface. Photo: J, Augier. 

Victorian Nat. 


Plant drought messenger proves elusive 
Timothy J. Entwisle 

Plant physiology is often perceived by 
naturalists to be a difficult and dull branch 
of botany. To better comprehend and ap- 
preciate the world around us, however, we 
need to understand how and why plants 
behave as they do. The response of plants 
to drought stress has long fascinated plant 
physiologists, and their struggle to unravel 
the conflicting evidence exemplifies the 
triumphs and tribulations of research in 
the natural sciences. Local scientists Dr 
Tom Neales and Ms Annette McLeod are 
part of a world-wide research effort de- 
voted to finding the ‘drought messenger’ 
in plants, 

Experimental science can be viewed as 
a succession of relatively stable dogmas, 
each separated by a flurry of hypothesis 
generation and testing. Plant physiologists 
working on drought stress have just lost 
a dogma: a theory based on simple hyd- 
raulic principles has been toppled by 
evidence of a chemical messenger giving 
advance warning of water stress. Conse- 
quently, research teams in Australia and 
overseas are now struggling to build a new 
theory to explain the way plants perceive 

Tom Neales and his post-graduate stu- 
dent Annette McLeod, of Melbourne 
University’s botany school, are trying to 
identify the trigger for the so-called 
‘drought response’ in plants. How and 
when do the leaves received the signal to 
‘batten down the hatches’? Tom Neales 
compares leaves to wet washing hanging 
ona line. To slow the inevitable drying-out 
process, all leaves are wrapped in a waxy 
layer (cuticle) punctured with small 
apertures (stomata). Stomata open and 
close in response to the plant’s conflicting 
requirements for carbon dioxide and water 
retention. During drought, a plant can 
conserve valuable water resources by early 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

closing of its stomata, and Neales and 
McLeod are interested in how and when 
the stomata receive the message to close. 
The now defunct dogma stated that sto- 
mata closed due to the direct effects of 
water stress in the surrounding leaf tissue. 

A water-balanced leaf is like a kitchen 
sink with the tap left running and the plug- 
hole open. The inlet and outlet can be 
adjusted so that the water stays at a con- 
stant level. If you turn the tap off, all the 
water is soon lost from the system. If, 
however, a signal could be sent to the plug- 
hole warning that the water level in the sink 
was dropping, the outlet could be plugged 
in time to save some of the water. Ana- 
logously, a signal sent to the stomata from 
the root warning of an imminent drought 
would give the plant a head start in con- 
serving water. Until recently, it had been 
assumed that the stomata were acting, as 
it were, when the water level had already 
reached the plug-hole. 

In 1987, Neales worked with Bill Davies 
in Lancaster, who devised an ingenious 
method to test this hypothesis. They placed 
half the roots of a sunflower into a well 
watered pot, and the other half into a 
gradually droughted pot. Since there was 
no shortage of water into the leaf tissue, 
the stomata would only shut if a chemical 
drought signal was sent by the ‘droughted’ 
roots. The stomata did shut, and a whole 
new hypothesis began to form. 

At the same time, John Passioura and 
Rana Munns, of the CSIRO Division of 
Plant Industry in Canberra, effectively 
‘pumped up’ leaf tissue to emulate full 
water pressure in a droughted plant. Once 
again, they concluded that a drought 
signal was overriding the water status of 
the leaves. It was as though the plug-hole 
knew the tap had been turned off well 
before the sink was empty. 



A typical drought scenario might in- 
volve the surface roots first registering 
water stress and producing a messenger 
compound which travels through the con- 
ductive tissue of the plant. This messenger, 
or hormone, could accumulate in the leaf, 
triggering the stomata to shut. By the time 
the deeper soil had dried out, the plant 
would have already begun to conserve 

From the work carried out at Mel- 
bourne University by Neales and McLeod, 
and at other research institutes around the 
world, the plant hormone Abscisic Acid 
(ABA) has been implicated as the drought 
messenger. It has been known for many 
years that ABA causes stomata to close, 
and more recently, that in droughted plants 
stomatal closure was correlated with an 
increase in ABA in the leaf. 

Yet, although the circumstantial evi- 
dence for ABA is strong, not all resear- 
chers are convinced. It is acknowledged 
that ABA accumulates in the leaf when 
plants are droughted, but there is some 
disturbing evidence to suggest that ABA 
is not needed for stomatal closure in 
drought stressed plants. 

The Canberra group, including Pas- 
sioura and Munns, have measured the 
amount of ABA in the leaves of a drought 
stressed plant and found it to be well below 
the level known to close stomata. Even 
more damning, they found that when plant 
sap taken from a droughted plant, but with 
all the ABA removed, was fed to a well 
watered plant, the stomata still closed. 
They concluded that a messenger exists, 
but that it is not ABA. 

Neales and McLeod set out to identify 
the drought signal in sunflower. As with 
their counterparts throughout the world, 
they are intrigued by the idea of a chemi- 
cally based, early warning system to 
drought. To trace the messenger, Neales 
and McLeod added a ‘controlled amount 

of drought’ using a chemical osmoticum. 
Instead of waiting 5 days for the pot-plants 


to dry out naturally, the time scale could 
be reduced to around 30 minutes, allowing 
the chemical response to be closely analy- 
sed. They also used feeding experiments, 
with the sunflowers placed on a drip of 
ABA. If ABA was the primary messenger 
for stomatal closure, a constant supply of 
ABA should lead to the closed stomata, 
even in well watered plants. Leaf ABA 
levels were measured using antibody 

The results were, as often happens in 
science, ambiguous. The stomatal response 
to the osmoticum treatments was too fast 
to be directly attributable to ABA building 
up in the leaves. The initial response to the 
ABA feeding experiments, however, was as 
expected: the ABA concentrations went 
up, and the stomata closed. But after a day, 
the ABA levels in the tested leaf dropped 
and the stomata opened again, in spite of 
the constant supply of ABA to the plant. 
So, the experiment created more problems 
than it solved (as is also common in 
science!), For instance, where was the lost 
ABA going? Presumably it was being 
broken down somewhere in the plant. 

The facts as they now stand are: 1) a 
drought signal is produced by the root; 2) 
in all plants tested, the roots produce ABA 
when droughted; 3) the ABA concentra- 
tions in sap rise in droughted plants; and 
4) stomata close before the leaves loose 
their turgor. The question still remaining 
is whether there is enough ABA to account 
for the closure of stomata. The next step 
is to measure precisely the amount of ABA 
in the cells controlling stomatal aperture. 

Until then, scientists are caught in an 
unstable but exciting transition period 
between dogmas. The classical view of 
stomata shutting down only when ‘the sink 
is empty’ is at best an oversimplification, 
and plant physiologists are intrigued by the 
prospect of a chemical response to early 
drought stress. They eagerly await 
verification of their new dogma. 

Victorian Nat. 


Field Naturalists in Victoria’s Alps 
*Linden Gillbank 

Hikers and skiers, botanists and his- 
torians will all readily recognize the names 
of several FNCV members who have ex- 
plored Victoria’s alps. Three well-known 
early members, Mueller, Howitt and Stir- 
ling, carried out most of their alpine 
investigations before the birth of the 
FNCYV. In the 1850s and 1860s Victoria’s 
first Government Botanist, Ferdinand 
Mueller, included the alps in most of his 
Victorian botanical expeditions. In the 
1860s and 1870s Alfred Howitt, a police 
magistrate in Omeo and later Bairnsdale, 
explored the local landscape, especially its 
botany and geology. Howitt later became 
Victoria’s Secretary for Mines and Water 
Supply. In the 1880s, while District Sur- 
veyor at Omeo, James Stirling further 
studied the flora and geology of Victoria’s 
alps. Stirling subsequently became Vic- 
toria’s Government Geologist. The names 
of all three eminent public servants endure 
in the flora and physiography of the 

Other members of the FNCV have also 
been instrumental in shaping our under- 
standing of the flora of Victoria’s alps - 
members such as Henry Tisdall, Charles 
Walter, Gustav Weindorfer, Francis Bar- 
nard, Charles Sutton, Alfred Ewart, James 
Audas, Herbert Williamson, Percival St 
John, and James Willis. 

The Historic Places Section of Victoria’s 
Department of Conservation and Environ- 
ment has orchestrated a project on the 
heritage of Victoria’s alps. As the author 
of the biological part of that project I have 
been investigating the history of botanical 
exploration of the region. After following 
the botanical footsteps of Mueller, Howitt 
and Stirling, I turned to articles in The 
Victorian Naturalist to follow other 
members of the FNCV as they further 
elaborated our knowledge of the region’s 

*Department of Economie History, University of 
Melbourne, Parkville 3052. 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

flora. For readers interested in the botani- 
cal history of Victoria’s alps, this paper 
includes some glimpses of the mountain 
excursions of the above FNCV members. 
A modified version of this paper will 
accompany a description of the contribu- 
tions of Mueller, Howitt and Stirling in the 
first part of the biological section of the 
project’s forthcoming book on the heritage 
of Victoria’s alps. 

From its establishment in 1880 until well 
into the 20th century, the Field Naturalists 
Club of Victoria (FNCV) nurtured the 
cognoscenti of Victoria’s indigenous flora. 
Via the FNCV’s meetings and journal, 
descriptions of the flora were recorded and 
corrected. The flora of Victoria’s high 
country attracted much interest. Members 
arranged private trips to various parts of 
Victoria’s alps and reported back to the 
Club on their inevitably enjoyable and 
sometimes exciting adventures and experi- 
ences. These reports inspired further 
expeditions and prompted the FNCV to 
arrange Club excursions in the region - but 
not until long after James Stirling (1887) 
had expressed surprise that the rich floral 
treasures of Mt Hotham had not by 1887 
attracted a Club excursion. 

Myth as well as fact added to the 
FNCY’s interest in the region. In Decem- 
ber 1854 Mueller climbed and named two 
peaks which he considered to be the 
highest in Victoria - Mt Hotham and Mt 
Latrobe. However, much to his chagrin, his 
names were not used. Various people have 
attempted to determine which two peaks 
he did ascend in 1854 and why his compass 
bearings taken from those peaks do not 
tally with those of other alpine visitors 
(Barnard 1904; Wakefield 1950). However, 
the myth of Mueller’s 1854 ascent of Mt 
Hotham persisted well into the twentieth 
century, and was often mentioned in 
reports of FNCY alpine excursions. 



Henry Tisdall 

One very early member of the FNCV 
was Henry Thomas Tisdall. He was a 
scientifically untrained, but observant, 
sub-alpine resident who was intensely 
interested in the organisms inhabiting his 
local environment, For eighteen years from 
1868 Henry Tisdall was head teacher of 
Walhalla’s first school, Stringer’s Creek 
State School No. 957, near the Long Tun- 
nell battery. At the third FNCV conver- 
sazione in April 1883, Tisdall exhibited a 
series of water-colour drawings of the wild 
flowers of his district, the result of several 
years’ work, and the following September 
contributed his first paper entitled “A 
Botanical Excursion in North Gippsland”. 
In Herman’s Report on the Walhalla Gold- 
Field, Tisdall also contributed an appendix 
listing the plants in the vicinity. (Paull 
1963; Tisdall 1961). 

On Mueller’s suggestion, Tisdall turned 
his botanical attention to the little-studied 
fungi. He collected, illustrated, and dis- 
cussed the local fungi, including “Native 
Bread” which was then called Mylitta 
australis. In the absence of a closer 
authority some fungi were sent to Dr M. 
C. Cooke of London. He also sent local 
mosses, lichens and fungi to Mueller. Even 
after his transfer from Walhalla in 1886, 
Tisdall continued to report to the FNCV 
on the natural history of the district 
around Walhalla. (Anon 1905; Tisdall 

Charles Walter 

Carl (Charles) Walter was another early 
member of the FNCV. He had arrived 
from Germany in the 1850s. One of many 
amateur botanists encouraged by Mueller 
to collect plants for Melbourne’s Her- 
barium, Walter added many new species 
to Victorian records (Anon 1907). 

After his collecting trip to the Victorian 
alps in January 1899, Charles Walter was 
asked by the FNCV Committee to exhibit 
the findings of his trip. At the FNCV 
conversazione in May, Walter exhibited 


about 100 herbarium specimens. So inter- 
ested were Club members in these plants, 
that Walter was asked to prepare some 
notes on his excursion “for the benefit of 
members who may desire to visit the 
district and see the great beauty and 
profusion of our Alpine flora’. In response 
he prepared a paper which was presented 
to the Club by his friend and collecting 
companion Charles French junior, the 
Assistant Government Entomologist 
(Walter 1899). 

With the widespread publicity to attract 
tourists to the region in the 1880s and 
1890s, it is not surprising that by 1899 
Walter had already visited Victoria’s alps 
twice. Taking advantage of the cheap 
excursion fares to Myrtleford, then the end 
of the railway line, Walter celebrated the 
cenienary of Australia with his first trip 
to Victoria’s alps on Australia Day 1887. 
He was rewarded with his first and immen- 
sely impressive view of grevillea victoriae 
in full flower, and the subsequent purchase 
of his numerous botanical specimens by 
Baron von Mueller, who had long ago 
discovered and named that majestic gre- 
villea. Walter included specimens of a tall, 
conspicuous but un-named shrub from 
beside the track up from Harrietville. 
Three years later, accompanied by James 
Stirling, the Baron saw those shrubs and 
named them Helichrysum stirlingii 
(Mueller 1890). 

In November 1891, while in charge of 
the Economic Botanical Section of Mel- 
bourne’s Industrial and Technological 
Museum, Walter again visited the area to 
collect for the museum. 

Walter’s 1899 week-long trip to Mts 
Hotham and Buffalo was provoked by his 
desire to rectify the dearth of alpine plants 
in his own herbarium. He spent three 
nights at the St Bernard Hospice, from 
whence he collected extensively along the 
track between Mt St Bernard and Mt 
Hotham. One morning he walked to the 
Twins Mountains, then down to the Woods 
Point Track. In the afternoon he visited Mt 
Smythe, then followed the Dargo River 

Victorian Nat. 


down from its source, returning to the 
hospice via the Grant and Crooked River 
road. On his return to the Ovens Valley, 
Walter spent a night at Manfield’s Buffalo 
Falls Temperance Hotel, four miles from 
Porepunkah along the road to the Eurobin 
Falls. The next day he was accompanied 
by one of the Manfield sons on a day’s 
collecting on the Buffalo Mountains. 
Included among the numerous plants he 
noted were the species of Kunzea and 
Ranunculus which Bentham had named 
after Mueller. Walter had already donated 
a collection of his Hotham plants to the 
St Bernard Hospice, and so, before catch- 
ing the train back to Melbourne, he left 
aset of pressed plants collected on Buffalo 
with the Manfields for the information of 
future visitors (Walter 1899). 

As Walter’s trip had shown, by the turn 
of the century parts of Victoria’s alps 
could be reached reasonably conveniently. 
Where Mueller and Howitt had plotted 
and slashed their own routes, there were 
sometimes tracks or even roads. A railway 
reached the foot of the alps — Myrtleford, 
by the 1880s, Bright by the 1890s. In 
summer horse-drawn coaches conveyed 
tourists from Bright across the mountains 
through Omeo to Bairnsdale. The 1910 
opening of the narrow-guage railway line 
from Moe to Walhalla dramatically in- 
creased the accessibility of the Baw Baw 
plateau to visitors. Thus in the early 
twentieth century Mt Buffalo, Mt Hotham 
and environs, and the Baw Baw plateau 
were the main foci for FNCV excursions. 
A four-day collecting trip from Bright, 
which included Mt Hotham and Mt Buf- 
falo, was then possible. 

Gustay Weindorfer 

With a particular interest in alpine 
plants, Gustav Weindorfer joined the 
FNCYV within a year of his arrival in 1900 
from Austria. While working at the Aus- 
tro-Hungarian Consulate in Melbourne he 
was an enthusiastic Club member (Sutton 
1932; Bergman 1959). 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

Weindorfer had visited Mt Buffalo in 
the winter of 1902 and was keen to see 
more of Victoria’s high country. Inspired 
by Charles Walter’s trip, two other Club 
members, Francis Barnard and Dr Charles 
Sutton, were delighted to join Gustav 
Weindorfer on an alpine holiday over 
Christmas 1902. Their trip was a slightly 
streamlined version of Walter’s 1899 trip. 
After a sixteen mile drive from Bright 
railway terminus to Harrietville and a 
twelve mile walk they reached the St 
Bernard Hospice. 

The last mile of the road was both 
steep and rough, but we thoroughly 
enjoyed our walk, which had taken 
us just six hours, the invigorating 
nature of the mountain air making 
the task an easy one. After tea, 
arranging the specimens in blotting 
paper and tracing out the unfamiliar 
ones by the aid of the “Key” (Muel- 
ler’s Key to the System of Victorian 
Plants) occupied the greater part of 
the evening, . . . (Barnard and Sut- 
ton 1903). 

In the belief that Mueller had been ‘the 
first white man to tread its (Mt Hotham’s) 
grassy top and gather specimens of its 
singular alpine flora’ they spent the day 
gathering specimens along the five mile 
track along the main ridge across Mt 
Blowhard to Mt Hotham, locally known 
as ‘Baldy’, the name given it by the 
Cobungra stockman James Brown. There 
they were confronted by a large flock of 
sheep feeding on its grassy slopes. As a 
corollary to Mueller’s claim that Victoria’s 
alpine flora was in part an extension of the 
lowland flora, they noted that the 
‘different forms some plants assume in 
these high regions are very confusing to the 
collector on his first visit’? (Barnard and 
Sutton 1903). Of the plants recorded that 
day, over half had been named by Mueller. 

After a night at Manfield’s Temperence 
Hotel near Porepunkah they set off up 



‘Staker’s Track’ to lunch by the gorge, In 
the afternoon they botanized on the Buf- 
falo plateau. They were delighted to record 
for only the second time in Victoria the 
remarkable Prostanthera walteri. Mueller 
had named it after Charles Walter who had 
discovered it decades earlier on Mt Ellery, 
East Gippsland. That evening Weindorfer, 
Barnard and Sutton were back in Pore- 
punkah in order to catch the 5 a.m. train. 
Back in Melbourne, they were pleased to 
find that part of the Buffalo plateau had 
recently been reserved as a National Park. 

Barnard and Sutton (1903) ended their 
Victorian Naturalist report with the 
recommendation that an extended FNCV 
excursion should be arranged for the 

A year later the FNCV’ s first official 
excursion to Mt Buffalo was arranged. 
Gustav Weindorfer and George Coghill 
organized a Christmas Camp-out from 
Thursday 24 December 1903 to Monday 
4 January 1904. Two dozen members 
participated. To the surprise of the railway 
staff checking the compartment reserved 
for field naturalists, half of the party were 
found to be women. In the days when 
women were excluded from Melbourne 
walking clubs they were apparently not 
expected to be field naturalists. 

The party was met at the Porepunkah 
railway station by their guide, Mr James 
Manfield junior, and conveyed by an 
imposing array of traps to Mr Manfield’s 
home ‘Ernai’ at the foot of the mountain, 
On the Buffalo plateau the next day: 

The camp was within fifty feet of 
the edge of the Gorge, and consisted 
of a slab hut, in which seven ladies 
slept, a canvas tent-house for eight 
men, a dining tent, two of Mr. 
Mattingley’s bell tents, and two 
small tents - a really imposing 
settlement, excellent in fine weather, 
but somewhat leaky, excepting the 
bell tents, in wet weather. The beds 
were of wire netting and logs 
(Coghill et a/. 1904), 


The party included people with suf- 
ficiently diverse interests to allow the 
recording of various aspects of the natural 
history of the plateau, from beetles to 
birds. The flora was described by Gustav 
Weindorfer, with Miss Kate Cowle (the 
future Mrs Weindorfer) helping with the 
mosses, liverworts and lichens. Beetles 
were collected and described by George 
Coghill and James Kershaw from Mel- 
bourne’s National Museum, Over 20 of the 
91 species of beetles collected were new to 
the Museum collection. 

Concluded Weindorfer in his 
contribution to the Victorian Naturalist 

May this excursion serve as an 
inducement for others of our mem- 
bers to collect and study our highly 
interesting alpine flora, of which 
each visitor to the Alps cannot fail 
to say that here richness of colour 
and beauty of form exist such as 
only Nature herself has the power 
to think out and create. 

During the camp-out, Weindorfer and 
Sutton made a flying visit via the Kiewa 
Valley to Mt Bogong. The weather was not 
welcoming. Only a day was spent reaching 
the foggy summit, botanizing and re- 
turning to Duane’s cattle station in the 
Kiewa Valley, then the nearest dwelling to 
Mt Bogong. They left with few specimens 
and no views. In 1904, accompanied by Dr 
Charles Sutton and Herbert Williamson, 
Weindorfer visited another part of 
Victoria’s alps — the Baw Baw Ranges 
(Sutton 1905). 

As well as providing convivial means to 
botanically explore Victoria’s alps, the 
FNCY also provided a forum to discuss 
and develop ideas provoked by those 
excursions. As Mueller had done, Wein- 
dorfer (1903a) considered the relationships 
and origins of the flora. In so doing he was 
asking evolutionary and ecological ques- 
tions. With his knowledge of the flora of 
the eastern alps of Europe, Weindorfer 
asked whether adaptations of that flora 
were also present in Australia’s alpine 

Victorian Nat. 


flora. He tried to explain the presence of 
characteristics such as thick or hairy leaves 
and low compact habit, and the absence 
of perfumed or red or violet flowers in 
terms of the conditions prevailing in the 
Australian alps — the length of growing 
season, the dearth of alpine insects, and 
the absence of large herbivores. Wein- 
dorfer (1904a) also attempted to explain 
the occurrence of Australian species or 
their close relatives in the alps of South 
America and New Zealand. 

Weindorfer’s enthusiasm for Victoria's 
alpine flora reached the wider public via 
articles on his trips in two Melbourne 
Weeklies, The Leader and The 
Australasian. During his few years’ 
residence in Melbourne before leaving for 
Tasmania in Noyember 1905, Weindorfer 
had botanically explored all the reasonably 
accessible parts of Victoria’s alps - Mt 
Hotham, the Buffalo and Baw Baw 
plateaux, and even Mt Bogong - and had 
discussed, asked questions about, and 
widely publicized the flora of Victoria’s 

Alfred Ewart and James Audas 

In 1906 Dr Alfred James Ewart FLS 
became Victoria’s third Government Bot- 
anist, the University of Melbourne’s first 
Professor of botany and a member of the 
FNCV. That year his assistant, James 
Wales Audas, also joined the FNCV. 

Despite the collections and observations 
of Mueller and subsequent collectors, 
Ewart soon recognised the need to elabor- 
ate the botanical records of the alps. 
Accompanied by Audas, Ewart set off in 
the winter of 1910 from the Ovens valley 
to follow in the footsteps of a succession 
of FNCV members to Mt Hotham and 
environs. Winter seems a strange time to 
survey the high mountain flora. Mobilized 
by a bicycle, Audas collected plant speci- 
mens over a wide area, Over 200 species 
of plants, both indigenous and introduced, 
were recorded during the trip. Over 20 had 
not previously been recorded for the 
region. As previous botanists had noted, 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

of particular interest were alpine plants of 
restricted range and the dwarf or prostrate 
forms of lowland plants (Ewart and Audas 

Following his alpine visit, Ewart con- 
solidated the species list prepared by Audas 
and previous visitors — Stirling, Walter, 
Maiden, Barnard, Sutton and Weindorfer 
— as well as the records of Mueller in 
Bentham’s Flora Australiensis, into a 
single species list for Victoria’s alps. This 
1910 National Herbarium list included 325 
indigenous species, or nearly one-sixth of 
the then-known Victorian flora. Ewart 
(1910) considered that ‘it is hardly likely 
that the district contains any species new 
to science — at least as regards flowering 
plants — but close investigation may show 
the existence of alpine varieties of lowland 
species not previously noted’. Mueller’s 
imprint on the flora was still clear. Nearly 
20% had been collected from the region 
by him, while almost as many had been 
named by him, not necessarily from the 

However, there were still parts of the 
alps that had either never been explored 
botanically, or had not been so explored 
since Mueller’s visits in the mid-1850s. 

Alfred Tadgell 

Alfred James Tadgell worked as accoun- 
tant to the Estate of the Clarke family, 
which included various pastoral proper- 
ties. Not surprisingly Tadgell’s initial 
botanical interest was in pastures (Morris 
1949). In the 1920s he was an enthusiastic 
FNCV member and an ardent botanical 
observer of vast areas of Victoria’s alps. 

Tadgell followed Ewart’s advice and 
compared his own records with the 1910 
National Herbarium list. In the early 1920s 
Tadgell, often accompanied by the Club's 
treasurer, Mr Hooke, made half a dozen 
collecting trips along the 40 mile horseshoe 
from Harrietville to Mts St Bernard, 
Hotham, Feathertop, and back to 
Harrietville, and presented his findings to 
the Club. Two species of Prasophyllum 



were mentioned. Dr Rogers had named 
P suttonii following Dr Sutton’s discovery 
of it on Mt Buffalo, Tadgell (1922) noted 
a reddish flowered form of P suttonii and 
an apparently new form of P. frenchii 
which Rogers named P frenchii, var. 
tadgellianum. Tadgell’s visits yielded 
nearly 100 native and 17 alien species that 
had not been included in the 1910 list. 
Thus, in only a few years, Tadgell surprised 
Ewart with a 30% extension of his species 
list for Victoria’s alps. The grand total was 
now 418 indigenous species and 28 aliens, 

Tadgell also explored around Mt Bo- 
gong. After two trips there in the early 
1920s, he compared his botanical findings 
with those of earlier collectors — Stirling, 
Sutton and Weindorfer. This highlighted 
the serendipitous nature of plant collecting 
from the same area even at the same time 
of year. Of the 221 native species recorded 
by Tadgell (1924) for Mt Bogong, about 
two thirds had remained unrecorded by his 
botanical predecessors. Between 1920 and 
1930, Tadgell made about a dozen botan- 
ical forays right across the mountains 
between Mt St Bernard and Mt Bogong, 
and added substantially to the knowledge 
of Victoria’s alpine flora and to the Census 
of Victorian Plants. Tadgell Point near Mt 
Bogong commemorates his interest in the 

Herbert Williamson 

The school teacher Herbert Bennett 
Williamson had joined the FNCV in 1900. 
By the 1920s he had acquired an FLS 
(Fellow of the Linnean Society) and an 
enormous and expanding herbarium 
(Daley 1931). 

Barly in 1922, with Chas. Daley, Wil- 
liamson explored the high country round 
Omeo and Benambra, including ‘The 
Brothers’ and the Cobberas. By Spring 
Creek, Cobungra, he sought and found the 
aptly named Eucalputus neglecta - 
evidently the first specimens brought to 
Melbourne since Howitt sent some in 1882 
(Daley and Williamson 1922). 


On New Year’s day 1923 Williamson, 
accompanied by another teacher, Mr S. F. 
Clinton, rode from Glen Willis up onto the 
Bogong High Plains to share a botanical 
holiday. One of many plants Williamson 
(1923) noted was: 

The luxuriant form of Celmisia 
longifolia, var. latifolia, with large, 
daisy-like flowers and broad silky- 
woolly leaves. 

In December 1928, following one of 
Senator R. D. Elliot’s philanthropic grants 
to the FNCV, Williamson was in the 
Cobunera district in the company of two 
locals, the brothers Tom and Henry Mor- 
gan, in search of fresh specimens of an 
orchid which Henry had discovered a year 
before. Following their success Pescott and 
Nicholls named the Golden Caladenia 
Caladenia hildae after the senator’s wife. 
Williamson (1929) revealed several sur- 
prises including a new species of the 
anchor plant, Discaria, and a daisy, 
Brachycome alpina, previously recorded 
only from Pretty Valley on the Bogong 
High Plains, where Williamson had dis- 
covered it in January 1923. Discaria nitida 
was not formally named until 1977. 

Percival St John 

Another philanthropist, Russell Grim- 
wade, was a long-standing member of the 
FNCV. In the 1930s he commissioned a 
FNCV member to work on the flora of Mt 
Buffalo. Percival Reginald Harry St John, 
a plant taxonomist at Melbourne's Botanic 
Gardens, was to collect, identify, mount 
and label specimens of the flora of the Mt 
Buffalo National Park. Grimwade then 
donated the collection of 125 specimens 
to the Victorian Railways Commissioners 
for their Chalet. That herbarium is still 
available for perusal by guests at the Mt 
Buffalo Chalet. 

FNCV Excursions 

The momentum of botanical interest in 
Victoria’s high country continued through 

Victorian Nat. 


the twentieth century. Thanks partly to the 
railways, by 1919 the FNCV had held two 
excursions in the Baw Baws, and by 1940 
four on the Buffalo plateau. By the 1950s, 
Lake Mountain and Mts Buller and Bo- 
gong had also been officially visited by the 
Club. Thanks to the FNCV and its journal 
The Victorian Naturalist, information 
about the flora and fauna of Victoria’s 
high country was progressively updated. 
As Willis (1949) wrote long ago about the 

This body of amateurs has always 
been a champion of systematic 
botany, and it is hard to imagine 
what would have become of the 
science in Victoria had the FNCV 
journal, The Victorian Naturalist, 
not been available as a medium of 
expression and interchange of 

James Willis 

One very active FNCV member and pro- 
fessional botanist who has botanized 
throughout Victoria’s alps is the now 
retired Assistant Government Botanist, Dr 
James Hamlyn Willis. Jim Willis con- 
tinued the plant exploration of Victoria’s 
alps, begun almost a century earlier by his 
famous predecessor, Ferdinand Mueller. 

For 34 years, from 1937 to 1972, Jim 
Willis worked from Melbourne’s Botanic 
Gardens and National Herbarium. For 
most of his first decade as an assistant at 
the Herbarium there was no official field 
work. However, his vacations could pro- 
vide field botany mixed with pleasure. 
During a fortnight’s holiday in 1938 with 
his friend, Raleigh Black, Willis was 
introduced to the vegetation of Mts Buf- 
falo and Hotham and the Cobungra dis- 
trict. This whetted his botanical appetite 
for the region. In 1943 he visited Lake 
Mountain, Mt Federation, and Mt Tor- 
breck, and doubled P. F. Morris’ (1929) 
Lake Mountain species tally (Willis 1948). 

Inspired by an earlier trip across the 
little-known Barry Mountains by W. H. 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

Nicholls, Jim Willis (1945a) was pleased 
to join Professor T. M. Cherry and a group 
of Rover Scouts on another botanical 
vacation - a 1944 Christmas trip across the 
botanically unexplored rugged terrain of 
the Divide between Mts St Bernard and 
Speculation, and then on to Mts Bernard 
and Speculation, and then on to Mts 
Cobbler, Stirling, and Buller, Evidence of 
cattle abounded, from the well defined 
cattle pads and the associated weeds to 
dreary burnt-out hills where gaunt stands 
of dead trees bore mute testimony to their 
sacrifice to the cattlemen’s goddess of new 
grass growth, An undescribed variety of 
daisy was collected and named Helichry- 
sum adenophorum, var, waddellae. Willis 
(1945b) had: 

pleasure in naming it after Miss 
Winifred Waddell — a keen advocate 
for the conservation and cultivation 
of our native flora, and a lover of 
the high mountain plants in par- 
ticular. Miss Waddell was first to 
observe the slender, pearly-pink 
everlastings on Mt Speculation. 

The Baw-Baw Berry, Wittsteinia vac- 
ciniacea, which, since Mueller’s discovery 
of it a century earlier, was known only 
from the Lake Mountain-Baw Baw area, 
and more excitingly a tiny green lily, 
Chlorophytum alpinum, previously 
known only from Tasmanian mountains, 
were important discoveries on the Cobbler 
plateau (Willis 1945c). Willis’ check-list of 
265 native plants and 58 aliens was made 
available for consultation in the National 

A year later, Jim Willis’ first official 
field trip was to Victoria’s alps. At the 
request of Professor John Turner, in 
January 1946 he joined the University of 
Melbourne’s first summer botanical excur- 
sion to the Bogong High Plains where 
ecological investigations on the effects of 
cattle were being initiated. This led to 
several further summer excursions with the 



University group and a continued taxo- 
nomic association with the project. The 
importance of field work for Herbarium 
taxonomists could no longer escape 

Jim Willis travelled widely over Vic- 
toria’s alps, collecting and naming plants, 
and compiling regional species lists. Fol- 
lowing his botanical survey of the Buffalo 
Plateau in 1963, his check-list included 300 
indigenous species and 46 introduced 
species in the National Park (Rowe 1970), 

Perhaps Willis’ most important alpine 
botanical offspring is the magnificent 
Silky Daisy, whose natural home is ap- 
parently limited to parts of the Bogong 
High Plains. With soft silvery-grey foliage 
and marguerite-like heads, it is one of the 
most attractive botanical features of the 
area where, cattle permitting, it flowers 
abundantly during summer along rocky 
stream banks. Three decades after it had 
been noted by Williamson (1923) as a 
variety of Celmisia longifolia, Willis (1954) 
officially named it Ce/misia sericophylla. 
Mueller’s never reaching the area, the 
plant's palatability to cattle, and its 
resemblance to sister species, allowed 
Celmisia sericophylla to escape scientific 
recognition for a whole century. 


The biological heritage of Victoria’s alps 
is represented not only by the species 
surviving in the wild, but also by their 
records which exist in the form of collec- 
tions and publications. A substantial 
collection of plant specimens from Vic- 
toria’s alps is housed in Melbourne's 
National Herbarium. It currently contains 
specimens collected by many FNCV mem- 
bers — Mueller, Stirling, Howitt (mainly 
eucalypts), Tisdall (mainly fungi and 
algae), Walter, Tadgell, Williamson, St 
John and Willis, with a few by Barnard, 
Sutton and Weindorfer. More recent con- 
tributors include Cliff Beauglehole, Neville 
Walsh and David Albrecht. 

As is obvious from this article The 
Victorian Naturalist is a rich repository 


for papers on the flora of Victoria’s alps, 
Thanks to the numerous reports of FNCV 
members, their articles in The Victorian 

Naturalist constitute an important part of” 

the biological heritage of the region. 

References and Further reading 

Anon (1905), The Late Mr. H. T. Tisdall. Victorian 
Naturalist, 22: 56-58. 

Anon (1907). The late Mr. Chas. Walter. Victorian 
Naturalist, 24: 110. 

Audas, J. W. (1912). Botanical Gleanings on a Trip to 
the Omeo District. 

Barnard, F. G. A, (1904), Some Early Botanical 
Explorations in Victoria. Victorian Naturalist, 21: 

Barnard [. G, A, (1914). Excursion to Baw Baw. 
Victorian Naturalist, 30; 198-210, 220-221. 
Barnard, F, G. A, and Sutton, C. 8. (1903). Among 

the Alpine Flowers. Victorian Naturalist, 20: 4-12. 

Bergman, G. F, J, (1959). Gustav Weindorter of Cradle 
Mountain. (Mercury Press: Hobart). 

Coghill, G, ef a/(1904), The Buffalo Mountains Camp- 
out. Victorian Naturalist, 20; 144-159. 

Daley, C. (1931). H. B. Williamson - An appreciation, 
Victorian Naturalist, 47: 172-175, 

Daley, C. and Williamson, H. B. (1922). Where the 
Murray Rises. Victorian Naturalist, 39: 4-12, 

Ewart, A, J. and Audas, J. W. (1910), The Flora of the 
Victorian Alps. Vietorian Naturalist, 27: 104-120, 

Garnet, J. R. (1949a). Lake Mountain Revisited. 
Victorian Naturalist, 66: 152-159. 

Morris, P. F. (1929), Ecology of Marysville and Lake 
Mountain, Victorian Naturalist, 46: 34-42. 
Morris, P. F, (1949), The Late Alfred James Tadgell. 

Victorian Naturalist, 66: 135. 

Mueller, F. von, (1890), Record of Two New Victorian 
Highland Composites. Victorian Naturalist, 6: 

Paull, R. (1963), ‘Old Walhalla, Portrait of a Gold 
Town’, (MUP: Melbourne). 

Rowe, R. K. (1970). ‘A Study of the Land in the Mount 
Buffalo National Park’. (Soil Conservation 
Authority: Melbourne). 

Stewart, H. C, BE, (1940). Plants of Mt. Buffalo. 
Victorian Naturalist, 56: 179-183. 

Stirling, J. (1887). Notes on the Flora of Mount 
Hotham, Victorian Naturalist, 4: 72-78. 

Sutton, C. S. (1905), A Botanical Trip to Mount Erica, 
Baw Baw. Victorian Naturalist, 22: 58-61. 

Sutton, C. S. (1907). A Botanist at Mount Buller. 
Victorian Naturalist, 23: 175-180. 

Sutton, C. S. (1932). Gustav Weindorfer, Victorian 
Naturalist, 59: 34-38. 

Sutton, C. S. (1953), Mount Buller’s Botanical 
Century, Victorian Naturalist, 69: 156-158. 

Victorian Nat. 

Victorian Naturalist, 28: ° 


Tadgell, A, J. (1922). A Contribution to “The Flora 
of the Victorian Alps”. Victorian Naturalist, 38: 

Tadgell, A. J. (1924). Mount Bogong and its Flora. 
Victorian Naturalist, 41: 56-80, 96, 99. 

Tadgell, A. J. (1926). Mount Fainter and Beyond. 
Victorian Naturalist, 43: 32-47. 

Tadgell, A. J. (1930). Mount Nelson and its 
Surroundings. Victorian Naturalist, 46: 227-235. 

Tadgell, A. J. (1936). A Rare Puffball Fungus from the 
Alps. Victorian Naturalist, 52: 178. 

Tadgell A. J. (1939). St Bernard Hospice. Victorian 
Naturalist, 55: 183-185. 

Tisdall, C, (1961). ‘Forerunners, The Saga of a Family 
of Teachers’, (Cheshire: Melbourne). 

Tisdall, H. T. (1884). Fungi of the Country East of 
Mount Baw Baw. Victorian Naturalist, 1: 169-172, 

Tisdall, H. T. (1886). Fungi of North Gippsland. 
Victorian Naturalist, 2: 106, 

Tisdall, H. T. (1889). A Winter Journey in the 
Mountains, Victorian Naturalist, 6: 139-145, 

Tisdall, H. T. (1895). Walhalla as a Collecting Ground. 
Victorian Naturalist, 11: 147-151. 

Tisdall, H. T. (1896). Under Eastern Baw Baw: A 
Botanical Trip in the Gippsland Mountains. 
Victorian Naturalist, 13: 93-97, 

Tisdall, H. T. (1904). Notes on the “Native Bread”, 
Polyporus mylittae. Victorian Naturalist, 21: 56, 

Wakefield, N. A. (1950), Baron Von Mueller’s 
Victorian Alps, Victorian Naturalist, 66: 169-176. 

Walter, C. A. (1899). Trip to the Victorian Alps. 
Victorian Naturalist, 16: 81-87. 

Weindorfer, G. (1903a). Some Comparison of the 
Alpine Flora of Australia and Europe. Victorian 
Naturalist, 20: 64-70. 

Weindorfer, G. (1903b). Australian Alpine Flora, The 
Leader no 2489, 19 September. 

Weindorfer, G. (1904a). Some Consideration of the 
Origin of our Alpine Flora. Victorian Naturalist, 
21: 6-9. 

Weindorfer, G. (1904b). A Botanical Trip. Members 
of the Field Naturalists’ Club in the Buffalo Mts. 
The Australasian, no 1978, 27 February. 

Weindorfer, G. (1904¢). Australian Plants, a Botanical 
‘Tour. The Leader, no 2512, 27 February & no 2513, 
5 March. 

Weindorfer, G, (1904d). Alpine Plants. A Rich Field 
for Australian Botanists. The Leader, no 2519, 16 

Williamson, H. B. (1923). A Trip to the Bogong High 
Plains. Victorian Naturalist, 40: 88-93. 

Williamson, H. B. (1929), Plant Hunting in the 
Cobungra District. Victorian Naturalist, 45: 

Willis, J. H. (1945a). Among Alpine Flowers of the 
Barry Mountains. Victorian Naturalist, 62: 
111-118, 132-140, 

Willis J. H. (1945b). A New Alpine Variety of the 
“Mallee Everlasting” (Helichrysum 
adenophorum), Victorian Naturalist, 61: 217. 

Willis, J. H. (1945c). Chlorophytum — A Genus of 
Lilies New to Victoria (and New South Wales). 
Victorian Naturalist, 61: 187. 

Willis, J. H. (1948). Vascular Flora of the Lake 
Mountain Alps. Victorian Naturalist, 64: 14-17. 

Willis, J. H. (1949). Botanical Pioneers in Victoria II. 
Victorian Naturalist, 66: 123-127. 

Willis, J. H. (1954). Two New Victorian Species of 
Alpine Compositae, Victorian Naturalist, 70: 

J. A. D. Blackburn* 

The collector, describing in fine detail 
_ some new specimen, may not give the same 
| attention to the description of the place 

from which it was obtained. In isolation 
| aspecimen is of limited value. Immediately 
| the question arises as to what are its 
| associations. Essential to this is a precise 
| locality description. 

The basic requirement is that it should 
| be adequate to enable the area to be 
| revisited and further investigation carried 
| out if necessary. In many cases inform- 
| ation from another discipline should be 
} consulted and correlated and this will be 

'* 4 McHale Court, Essendon, 3040 

‘Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

difficult unless the localities in both 
reports are adequately described. 

Place names that are meaningful to the 
author of the work may be a source of 
difficulty for the user, particularly if he is 
interstate or overseas. Names are fre- 
quently changed and, in mining areas 
particularly, can go out of use and are left 
off the maps. Others are local and unof- 
ficial and have never been included. 

An example of the problem is Charlotte 
Waters in Central Australia which held 
equal status with Alice Springs as the most 
important place in that area and figures 
prominently in scientific and other reports. 
The original Alice Springs was the old 


Naturalist Notes 

telegraph station and is some distance 
away from the present town bearing the 
same name, On a 1968 map Charlotte 
Waters at 25,5545, 134,568, is marked as 
abandoned and it does not appear at all 
on the 1977 edition, However, on page 266 
of “Flora of Australia” Vol, 4. “Charlotte 

Jaters” is piven as the type locality for 
Seerolaena longicuspis, 

In all scientific publications, but per 
haps only in the index, every place name 
should be identified by the latitude and 
longitude in the same way that the post- 
code is an essential part of a mailing 
address. The geographical coordinates are 
often the only common reference points 
innmaps of different origins. These, quoted 

to the nearest minute of arc, (eg. Ayers 
Rock, 25.21'S. 131.02’E.) will place you 
within one kilometre of the location any- 
where in the world, It then can be plotted 
in its correct position on whatever map is 
at hand. The name itself loses much of its 
meaning unless it can be found on a map 
which is readily available. More often than 
not with scientific locations this would not 
be so. 

For closer work the method to be used 
will depend on circumstances but will 
probably involve a dimensioned sketch 
with measurements from property corners 
or other permanent features. If the 
dimensions can be plotted on a plan they 
should enable the place to be found, 

Intertidal Echidna activity 
Hugh Phillipps* 

On Monday IH June 1990 1 was with 
other members of the Victorian Wader 
Study Group at Barry Beach on Corner 
Inlet in South Gippsland, A Short-beaked 
Echidna, Zéchyelossus aculeatus, was seen 
on the beach below, and several metres 
away from, high tide level, The time was 
about 1300, a couple of hours before high 
tide, The Echidna, whose tracks could 
been seen meandering over the beach, 
appeared to be foraging. The only organic 
matter visible in the immediate area was 
in the tide-wrack, mainly decomposing sea 

Some, possibly misplaced, concern was 
felt that the rising tide might endanger the 
Echidna, as the nearest high ground was 
a narrow and exposed strip of shingle that 
would be almost entirely surrounded by 
water, The animal was therefore taken, 
With some difficulty, a hundred metres or 
so back to the low dune vegetation behind 
the beach, There was no indication that 
it Was sick or injured in any way; indeed, 
iL appeared to be fighting fit, 

“Hl Marlton Crescent, St Kilda 4182 


It seemed unusual to see an Echidna in 
such a place, although tracks seen at 
different times and other areas of the 
beach indicate that it might be part of its 
regular foraging range. A brief search of 
the main reference material on Echidnas 
found no mention of the intertidal zone 
as Echidna habitat, although there is an 
intriguing description (Newman 1990) of 
an animal walking through a group of 
oystercatchers on an intertidal mudflat to 
the cdge of the water. 

Echidnas are believed to feed almost 
entirely on ants and termites, although 
other food items such as beetle larvae have 
occasionally been reported. The only 
plausible food on the beach would have 
been small anthropods in the decomposing 
tide-wrack, Echidnas are known, however, 
to utilise a wide range of habitats, and the 
intertidal part of a beach may only be 
another addition to the long list of places 
this versatile creature may be found, 

Newman, O.M.G, (1990), Unusual Behaviour of Pied 

Oystereatchers in South-east Tasmania, 7as, Bird 
Report 19: 25.28, 

Victorian Nat. 


Mount Buffalo excursion, 4-9th January 1990 
Ruth Parkin 

After a train trip from Melbourne and 
lunch under a large Red Gum (Eucalyptus 
camaldulensis) in Merriwa Park in Wan- 
garatta, we took a bus up to Mount 
Buffalo via Beechworth and Bright, watch- 
ing the landscape change from plains to 
foothills to mountains. The Buffalo Range 
was first seen by Hume and Hovell in 1824, 
and then by Major Mitchell in 1835. 
Mount Buffalo became a National Park 
in 1898, and the road to the plateau was 
opened 10 years later. We stayed at the 
80-year old Chalet (elevation 1337 m), 
which is surrounded by large Rhododen- 
dron bushes, with other garden plants 
edging the croquet lawns, and has at its 
entrance a beautiful, gnarled yet stately 
Mountain Gum (£. dalrympleana). 

The next morning our group walked 
from the Tatra Inn area across the snow 
plain to Dickson’s Falls, named after 
W. Dickson, Secretary for Mines in the 
early 1900’s. The track wandered through 
a pretty alpine meadow dotted with Snow 
Gums (£. pauciflora, once called E. 
niphophila, snow-lover), and we watched 
a Scarlet Robin (Petroica multicolor) 
flitting from branch to branch. In between 
rain-showers we saw many alpine plants: 
Alpine Podolepis (Podolepis robusta), 
Mauve Brachycombe Daisy, Scapigera 
aculata), Yam Daisy (Microseris 
scapigera), Common Billy Buttons (Cras- 
pedia glauca), Hoary Sunray (Helipterum 
albicane var. buffaloensis), Clustered 
Everlastings (Helichrysum semi-pap- 
posum), and Candle Heath (Richea con- 
tinentis) with its cream flowerheads and 
spiky leaves in the sphagnum bog. 

We could hear the mournful cry of 
currawongs across the plain. Nearby were 
Purple Eyebright (Euphrasia collina), 
Guinea Flower (Hibbertia serpyllifolia), 
Alpine Celery (Aciphylla glacialis), Grass 
Trigger Plant (Stylidium graminifolium), 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

Derwent Speedwell ( Veronica derwentia), 
Sky Lily (Herpolerion novae-zealandie), 
and our first sightings of the beautiful, 
green-flowering Monkey Mintbush (Pros- 
tanthera walteri), which is restricted to 
only a few mountain areas, and the tiny 
blue Creeping Fan Flower (Scaevola 

The track crossed a stream and con- 
tinued through Rosy Heath-myrtle (Baec- 
kea ramosissima), Alpine Heath-myrtle (B. 
gunniana), Tall Rice-flower (Pimelia 
ligustrina) and Slender Rice-flower (P 
linifolia) before the descent to Dickson’s 
falls. We needed to scramble over granite 
boulders for a view of the falls and the 
valley below. 

During the afternoon some members 
explored the track to Underground River, 
passing Billson’s Lookout with its splendid 
view of the Buckland Valley. The path 
meanders down the hill through a fine 
stand of Alpine Ash (Woollybutt, Auca- 
lyptus delagatensis), and we saw an 
assortment of flowers amongst the trees: 
the dainty Cinnamon Bells (Gastrodia 
sesamoides), Fringe Lily (Thysanotus 
tuberosus), Tree Lomatia (Lomatia fras- 
eri), Pink Heath Bells ( 7etratheca baueri- 
folia), Ovens Everlasting (Helichrysum 
stirlingii), and the minute and difficult-to- 
see Elbow Orchid Arthrochilus huntianus 
with its tiny elbow-shape. The track 
descends steeply through fern gullies down 
to the Underground River. 

We returned to the carpark by the 
lookouts at dusk, and spotted Crimson 
Rosellas (Platycercus elegans), Pied Cur- 
rawongs (Strephera graculina), Grey 
Currawongs (S. versicolor) and Little 
Ravens (Corvus mellori). Early risers the 
next day saw and heard the Superb Lyre- 
bird (Menura superba). 

Descending the horse-trail to Lake 
Catani many more wildflowers were obser- 



ved. One of the most attractive was the 
Orange Mountain Shaggy Pea (Oxvlobium 
alpestre), named for its hairy pod. Along 
the track we saw Orange Everlasting 
(Helichrysum acuminatum), Scented Sun 
Orchid (Thelymitra megacalyptra), Neck- 
lace Fern (Asplenium flabellifolium), 
Rough Coprosma (Coprosma hirtella), 
Tasmanian Blue Flax-lily (Dianella tas- 
manica), and many Pale Vanilla Lilies 
(Arthropodium milleflorum). Hickory 
Wattle (Acacia obliquinerva), with its 
large, curved, bluish-tinted leaves, was 
growing prolifically, and there were large 
specimens of Mountain Tea-tree (Lepto- 
spermum grandifolium). We also saw the 
purple-flowering Round-leaf Mint-bush 
(Prostanthera rotundifolia), Purple 
Kunzea (Kunzea parvifolia), Elderberry 
Panax (Tieghemopanax sambucifolius), 
Leafy Bossiaea (Bossiaea foliosa), Ivy 
Goodenia (Goodenia hederacea var. 
alpestre), and the Wax-Berry (Gaultheria 

At a large concrete bridge we paused to 
admire the weeping beauty of the Buffalo 
Sallee (Eucalyptus mitchelliana), also 
known as Willow Gum, with its spiky 
fruits and shiny green leaves. This species 
is endemic to the plateau. The red flowers 
of Royal Grevillea (Grevillea victoria; 
named by Baron von Mueller in honour 
of Queen Victoria) were just emerging 
nearby, and Catkin Wattle (Acacia 
dallachiana) and Lemon-scented Bottle- 
brush (Callistemon pallidus) were also 
present. High on the hillside above was an 
attractive group of pink and white Waddell 
Everlastings (Helichrysum adenophorum 
var. waddellae, named after Winifred 
Waddell, founder of the Victorian Native 
Plants Preservation Society), and we also 
saw the small white flowers of the Tree 
Everlasting (H. dendroideum). 

After lunch by the lake, we returned to 
the Chalet, noting Silver Snow-daisies 
(Celmisia astelifolia) before entering more 
swampy country. We observed Swamp 
Heath (Epacris paludosa), Yellow Kunzea 
(Kunzea ericifolia, once named muelleri), 


Coral Heath (Epacris microphylla), Alpine 
Baeckia (Baeckia gunniana), Forest Phe- 
balium (Phebalium squamulosum ssp. 
alpinium), Bush-Pea (Pultenaea tenella), 
Golden Moth Orchid (Diuris pedun- 
culata), the purple Mountain Milkwort 
(Conosperma retusum), and many Bird 
Orchids (Chiloglottis gunnii) with their 
perianth resembling the open mouth of a 
young bird. The track continued past the 
site of Grossman Sawmill (1907-1912), and 
growing along the track were Buttercups 
(Ranunculus graniticola), a Mountain 
Gentian (Gentianella demensis), Creamy 
Stackhousia (Stackhousia monogyna), 
Alpina Westringia (Westringia senifolia), 
Mountain Pepper (7usmannica lanceolata) 
and Purple Violets (Viola betonicifolia). 
Later we saw Mountain Plum-Pine (Podo- 
carpus lawrencel) and St. John’s Wort 
(Hypericum perforatum). 

The next day we proceeded to the Gap 
Lookout to view the Buckland Valley 
below. Around our feet the dainty, pink- 
flowered Alpine Boronia (Boronia algida) 
was growing prolifically. Alpine Grevillea 
(Grevillea australis), with its small cream 
flower, and a white variety of a trigger 
plant (S/ylidium sp.) grew beside the Gorge 
Walk path, which led through Myrtle Tea- 
tree (Leptospermum myrtifolium) and 
Shrubby Platysace (Platysace lanceolata, 
with tiny white blossoms) to Pulpit Rock, 
facing the precipitous. north wall of the 
Gorge. At the foot of the rock some bright 
Golden Everlastings (Helichrysum brac- 
teatum) were blooming in a small grey 
crevice. Near Wilkinson’s Lookout were 
the Cascade Everlasting (1, thyrsoideum), 
Gorse Bitter-Pea (Daviesia ulicifolia) and 
the Handsome Flat Pea (Platylobium 
JSormosum). As we returned to the Chalet 
we could see the Victorian Christmas Bush 
(Prostanthera lasianthos) among the tall 

After lunch we walked the undulating 
track to the Monolith through much 
colourful bush, including Orange Shrubby 
Pea, Alpine Wattle (Acacia alpina), the 
Hop Bitter-pea (Daviesia interfolia), 

Victorian Nat. 


White Alpine Mint-bush (Prostanthera 
cuneata) and a vast patch of Ivy-leaved 
Violets (Viola hederacea). There was 
evidence of the early saw-milling activities 
in the area. Close to the Monolith was a 
small patch of Tufted Blue Lily (Stypandra 
caespitosa) and Alpine Everlasting (Heli- 
chrysum hookeri). 

Our last full day was overcast, but some 
brave souls ventured forth to ascend the 
Horn, returning after a deluge. Baron von 
Mueller and J. Dallachy (Superintendent 
of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens) ascen- 
ded the Horn in 1853, and Kunzea muelleri 
and Acacia dallachiana are named after 
these two eminent botanists, The mist 

closed in, however, and we retreated to the 
warmth of the Chalet lounge to peruse the 
four large volumes of the Flora of Mt. 
Buffalo, selected by Government Botanist 
St. John and given to the Chalet by Russell 
Grimwade in 1938: an informative and 
fitting conclusion to our stay. Mt. Buffalo 
was called ‘The Garden of the Gods” by 
E. J. Dunn, secretary of the Mines Depart- 
ment who made a geological survey of the 
area in 1907, and this perhaps best de- 
scribes the hours of pleasure one can spend 
botanising there. 

Botanical names are taken from the Mi. Buffalo 
Plant List, National Parks Service ( Victoria), 

The marine life of Heron Reef 
(Report of a talk by Julie Marshall at the August 
general meeting of the FNCV) 

The Great Barrier Reef stretches for 
almost 2000 km parallel to the north east 
Australian coastline. Heron Island is 
situated in the Capricorn-Bunker Group 
which is at the southern end of the Great 
Barrier Reef about 70 km from the 
Queensland coastal town of Gladstone. 

Heron Reef is approximately 11 km long 
and 4-5 km wide. Originally discovered 
during the surveying trip of the H.MLS. Fly 
in 1843, the island was first used by turtle 
canners. Eventually the island was taken 
over in 1932 by Christian Poulson who 
established a small resort. In 1973 the P 
& O Shipping Line took this over and 
greatly expanded it so that it now caters 
for over 200 guests. They have also recently 
dredged out a large harbour to accom- 
modate a ‘wave piercing catamaran’. 
Heron Island is a coral cay, and, apart 
from Green Island, this is the only resort 
situated on a cay. The University of 
Queensland also has a research station on 
the island. The marine life of the reef has 
been protected since the 1960s. 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

The beach zone 

Bird life 

The dominant bird life consists of terns, 
herons and shearwaters. The White-cap- 
ped Noddy Tern (Anous minutus) provides 
guano for the Pisonia trees in which it 
nests, and also disperses the seeds of the 
tree which stick to its feathers. The nests 
are made from the leaves and twigs of the 
Pisonia trees. 

Reef Herons are common, They have 
two colour varieties within the same 
species, and both white and grey phases 
are found at Heron Island. 

The Wedge-tailed Shearwater nests on 
the island from November to March. From 
April to May the large fluffy chicks have 
trial flights. 


Green and Logger-Head Turtles come 
ashore on the rising tide at night during 
the summer months. They lay their eggs 
in a chamber (hollow dug in the sand) 



above the high tide mark. They lay a clutch 
of 100 to 150 eggs, which are soft and 
rather like ping pong balls, They hatch in 
50 to 80 days, The temperature of the sand 
controls the sex of the hatchlings. The 
biggest day time predator of the hatchlings 
are sea gulls, whilst the ghost crab and 
the red-eye crab lie in wait on the beach 
and rocks at night for emerging turtle 

Marine life in the intertidal zone 

At low tide a large amount of the reef 
rim and reef flat is exposed. This area can 
be divided into a number of zones. There 
is the beach rock which houses chiton 
populations which graze on algae at night. 
Then a shallow gutter off shore which 
always contains about | m depth of water. 
Here, underneath dead coral boulders are 
terebellid worms which live in a tube made 
of fine sediment and which have long 
feeding tentacles. The swimming bivalve, 
Lima fragilis, is also found. It moves by 
clapping the valves of its shell together and 
expressing the water - a form of jet 

In the inner or sandy zone are broad 
expanses of sand with sparse clumps of 
living coral. The main animals here are 
holothurians (commonly known as Sea 
Cucumbers because of their shape). These 
have mouths ringed by tentacles which 
sweep the sand into the gut, extract the 
food, and expel the remains through the 
anus. Many species when molested throw 
out part of their internal organs (called 
Cuverian tubules) through the cloaca. 
These tubules elongate and become very 
sticky. They also contain toxic substances 
which can poison a predator. Minute 
calcium carbonate spicules are embedded 
in their skin. Some species are still a 
popular food for the Chinese. 

Many species of nudibranchs are found 
in the shallows including one of the largest 
—the Spanish Dancer, Hexabranchus san- 
guineus. Nudibranchs are molluscs al- 
though they all lack shells as adults, Their 
name means ‘naked gills’ and many species 


carry their gills clearly visible on their back 
(mantle). Most species of nudibranch are 
brightly coloured and this seems to warn 
other animals that they are unpalatable 
and they in fact have few predators. Nudi- 
branchs are carnivorous feeding on a 
variety of organisms such as sponges, 
bryozoans, ascidians and coelenterates, 
especially hydroids. The Spanish Dancer 
is one of the few nudibranchs which can 
swim. It does this by unfurling and un- 
dulating its mantle. It is about 25 cm in 
size but most nudibranchs are much 
smaller, some only being a few mm. 

Gastropod molluscs can be divided into 
three main subclasses — the pulmonates 
(e.g. the Common Land Snail), the opis- 
thobranchs (which include the nudi- 
branchs) and the prosobranchs which 
include most of the other shells which can 
be found in the reef shallows, such as the 
baler shell, volutes such as Amoria macu- 
lata, spider shells (Lambis lambis) and 
mitre shells. Large numbers of the clam 
Tridacna maxima are found in the coral 

Corals include the massive coral, Gonio- 
pera, brain corals, soft corals such as 
Sarcophyton, and the Staghorn Coral 
(Acropora). The main predator of corals 
are starfish but some nudibranchs also 
feed on corals (e.g. Phestilla lugubris on 

Starfish can regenerate an arm if it is 
broken off, Many extrude their stomach 
externally to digest their prey. They use 
digestive enzymes to dissolve the tissue 
before ingesting. Heron Reef is largely free 
of the Crown-of-thorns Starfish which 
devastate coral reefs further north. 

Sea urchins are also common e.g. Dia- 
dema which is light sensitive. Little black 
fish live symbiotically with it. 

In the living coral zone, coral is well 
developed forming an even-topped plat- 
form encrusted with pink calcareous algae. 
Cowries are found in this area and also the 
abalone Haliotis asinina. It has holes in 
the distal part of its shell through which 
it expels water after the oxygen has been 

Victorian Nat. 

Book Reviews 

removed by the gills. Hermit Crabs which 
inhabit dead univalve shells are common. 
There are many beautiful shrimps. 

A sacoglossan which resembeles a nudi- 
branch, Cyerce nigricans lives in this area. 
It is herbivorous and feeds on the Turtle 
Grass, Chlorodesmis. It has numerous 
flattened leaf like cerata on its back. These 
contain branches of the gut and also 
glands which secrete noxious substances 
when the animal is attacked, 

The reef crest or rim is the highest part 
of the intertidal zone. It is littered with 
large coral boulders. The underside of 
these shelter a large variety of life such as 
bryozoans, ascidians, sponges, flatworms, 
cowries and nudibranchs. Some nudi- 
branchs such as Pectinodoris trilineata are 
very small and up to 50 can be found in 
one patch of sponge. ‘Sponge crabs’ carry 
a protective covering of sponge held in 
place by two of their legs. Sponges are 
unpalatable to most marine life and thus 
form a protection for the crabs. 

Many Sea Hares (Ap/ysia) are found in 
this area. They produce a violet-purple ink- 
like fluid when irritated. Brittle Stars and 
shrimps are also common. 

Marine life in the subtidal zone 

The reef slope falls sharply down to 
about 20 m. The brilliant yellow Tixbastrea 
coral can be found in caves and under 
overhanging ledges. Sometimes the polyps 
are eaten out by the mollusc, Epitonium, 
Gorgonian corals are large and branching 
and portray beautiful colours. Crinoids 
have numerous long, brightly coloured 
feather arms which catch plankton in the 
currents. They use small jointed append- 
ages known as cirri to cling to the sub- 

Fish are various including the Blue 
Angel Fish, the Butterfly Fish and the 
Trumpet Fish. Moray Eels are large and 
can be aggressive and bite. It is acommon 
sight to see larger fish with smaller ‘cleaner 
fish’ eating parasites in the larger fishes 
gills and mouth. Manta Rays are some- 
times seen. 

There are many beautiful flatworms and 
colourful nudibranchs, especially Chro- 

A feature of all these descriptions was 
the clear, colourful and typical environ- 
mental photography, which made the talk 
a valuable introduction to the life of the 

Heron Reef. Noel Schleiger 

Wily Violets and Underground Orchids 
By Peter Bernhardt 
Published by Allen and Unwin, R.R.P. $16.95, 272 pages. 

A recent edition of Orbost’s local news- 
paper, the ‘Snowy River Mail’ carried a 
letter from a reader signing herself as 
‘Sheila B. Wright’, who posed the question 
“What possible use is a potoroo, anyway?’ 
The question was rhetorical; the writer was 
quite clear that potoroos are useless and 
that, if they were to become extinct as a 
result of human activities, then so be it. 

The final chapter in Peter Bernhardt’s 
book ‘Wily Violets and Underground 
Orchids’ is about a plant more ‘useless’ 
even than a potoroo. The two species of 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

underground orchids - Rhizanthella gard- 
neri in Western Australia and Cryptan- 
themis slateriin New South Wales — grow, 
flower and set seed entirely underground. 
They are very rarely seen by human eyes, 
and then only as a result of ploughing a 
paddock or accidentally kicking over a 
dead stump. But Bernhardt tells their 
remarkable story with an enthusiasm for 
the bizarre and the obscure details of their 
lives which invoked, in me at least, a sense 
of wonder. I have no idea what ‘Sheila B. 
Wright’ would think. 


Book Reviews 

Bernhardt is currently employed at the 
Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, and is 
engaged in writing explanatory signs and 
notes for the Garden’s collection of plant 
treasures. He was educated in the United 
States and in Australia, and has worked 
extensively in the field of pollination and 
reproductive biology of plants. He is also, 
by self-admission, the ‘freak at the orchid 
show who pulls out a hand lens’. This is 
his first book. 

With this background and his skills, 
Bernhardt is in a good position to bring, 
to a general audience, stories from that 
remarkable field, the ways and means by 
which plants (and animals) reproduce their 
kind. The field lends itself to story-telling, 
and any teacher will verify that telling 
stories is one of the best ways of getting 
a message across. In this case, the stories 
are told ina light, entertaining style which 
enhances their effectiveness still further. 

‘Wily Violets and Underground Or- 
chids’ is a collection of short chapters 
dealing with whatever has taken Bern- 
hardt’s fancy. There is no particular order, 
but the unifying theme of reproduction 1s 
covered with a variety of examples, from 
the flowering patterns of rainforest trees 
to the pollination of prairie herbs, and 
from bees and birds to bats and rats. 
Orchids and mistletoes are Bernhardt’s 
main research interests, so these are 
covered in detail. In fact, six of the eighteen 
chapters are devoted to orchids. 

As well, Bernhardt is clearly interested 
in literature, and this pops up in frequent 
literary allusions and in two chapters, One, 
dealing with May Gibbs’ books on Gum- 
nut Babies and Big Bad Banksia Men, is 


particularly entertaining for an Australian 
reader, as these classics of our literature 
are explained with a view to a predomin- 
antly American audience. The other re- 
views some of the more extravagant science 
fiction forays into the botany of man- 
eating (and seducing) orchids. 

It is in these excursions into the bizarre 
and the marvellous that Bernhardt is at his 
strongest. At the more basic levels, 
covering the principals of floral mor- 
phology, pollination and adaptation, and 
explaining the links between these, the 
book is sometimes flawed by the intro- 
duction of terms and concepts which are 
not fully explained. But this is a minor 
problem, and is certainly a lesser one than 
an unfortunate publishing flaw, that the 
currently available edition is missing the 
colour plates referred to in the text. The 
black-and-white illustrations and plates are 
generally excellent, and I’m sure that the 
colour plates would have been valuable. 

The importance of books like these is 
touched upon in the foreword by Peter 
Raven, Director of the Missouri Botanic 
Gardens, and again in the last chapter. 
As Bernhardt remarks in the closing 

“The earth conceals many more tan- 

talizing stories of botany. Will there be 

enough time . . . to tell them?” 

1 believe that few qualities are more 
important in our relationship with the 
natural world than a sense of wonder. This 
book is about wonderful things. I hope 
that even ‘Shiela B. Wright’ will one day 
simply marvel. 

Kevin Thiele 
Botany School 
University of Melbourne 

Victorian Nat. 


Annual report of the Botany Group of the FNCV for 
the year 1989 

Those who are interested in the activities of the Botany Group have had another 
| very interesting year, both at the meetings on the ‘Second Tuesday’ and on the excursions 
of the ‘Fourth Saturday’. Whenever possible adjacent meetings and excursions were 
linked together in subject matter. 

Sometimes meetings have been limited by the limitations of space in the Astronomer’s 
Residence, and also we have missed the pleasure of being able to use the FNCV library. 

Eleven meetings were held, and 9 excursions. For the meetings, the average attendance 
was 22, the higher attendances of the warmer months were matched by lower attendances 
in the winter months. For the excursions the average attendance was 17, July and August 
being the least popular months. 


February Various speakers Alpine plants and their habitats. 

March Win Bennet From the Kimberley to the Cooper - a contrast. 
April David Cheal An overview of the vegetation of the Mallee. 
May Graeme Stone RCA roadside reserves. 

June Tom May Trees, toadstools, puffballs and potoroos. 

July Various speakers Members night. 

August George Paras Restoration efforts of La Trobe University 

Wildlife Reserve. 
September Dr Sophie Ducker Botanical exploration of the Port Phillip Bay 

| October Hilary Weatherhead Plant communities at different altitudes in the 
Swiss Alps. 
November Keith McDougal Conservation of the Basalt Plains grasslands 

December Various speakers Members night and AGM. 


February Lake Mountain 

March — 

April Tall forest on the Ada River (La Trobe Valley FNCV). 

May Greens Bush (Tom Sault). 

June Fungi at Kurth Kiln (Tom May). 

July Operation Revegetation Nursery (Knoxfield) and Mealy Stringybark 
woodland (Andrew Paget). 

| August Gresswell Forest and Plenty River Gorge (George Paras and local 


| September Brisbane Ranges (Norman Plover). 

October Tynong North to Gembrook - A variety of vegetation associations 
(Hilary Weatherhead). 

November Basalt Plains flora remnants (Keith McDougal). 

New faces are always welcome. Thanks go once again to Margaret Potter, our President 
sand to all who have contributed to the efficient running of the Botany Group. Happily 
1990 will find us back in the Herbarium! 

Win Bennet, Hon. Secretary 

‘Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 181 


50 Years of the Australian Natural History Medallion 

On 24 March 1939 JK. Moir, president 
of the Bread and Cheese Club, wrote to 
the Secretary of the FNCV suggesting the 
establishment of an award — ‘a variation 
of the Nobel awards’ - as a recognition of 
a person’s service towards protecting native 
flora and fauna. The idea was favourably 
received by the FNCV and action was 
promptly taken to notify organisations 
considered likely to be interested in such 
an initiative. Seventeen societies were 
approached, and each provided two 
representatives to form a committee which 
drew up the rules which were to govern the 
award. The first medallion was awarded 
to Alec H. Chisholm in 1940. In the fifty 
years since then the range of the award has 
widened, so that today societies and clubs 
thoughout Australia are invited to submit 
nominations for the Medallion. The first 
interstate award was made in 1944 with the 
selection of J.M. Black from South 
Australia. This was followed in 1946 by 
Queensland (Heber A. Longman), and 
Western Australia in 1948 (Ludwig 
Glauert). Reverend H.M.R. Rupp (New 
South Wales) received the award in 1954, 
and it first went to Tasmania in 1976, to 
Winifred M. Curtis. Twenty-seven 
Victorians have been awarded the 
Medallion, seven have gone to New South 
Wales, while South Australia and Western 
Australia have received six each, and 
Tasmania and Queensland two each. 

All aspects of natural history have been 
recognised in the award, and while some 
Medallionists have had a broad Tange of 
interests, many have been specialists, 
ornithologists and botanists being the 
most numerous. At the other end of the 
scale, there has been only one who listed 
microscopy (together with geology and 
palaeontology), Frederick Chapman in 
1941, and one ichthyologist, Gilbert Bs 
Whitley, in 1967. There have been three 
herpetologists (Ludwig Glauert, 1948, 


Michael Tyler, 1950 and John Dell, 1988), 
while two awards have been made for 
conchology, the first to the South Aust- 
ralian, Bernard C. Cotton, in 1950, and the 
other to Charles J. Gabriel (1958), who 
joined the FNCV as a junior member in 
1892, at the age of thirteen, and was very 
active in the Club thoughout his long 
association with it. 

As would be expected, the early Medal- 
lionists were men, the first woman being. 
Edith Coleman in 1949, followed by two 
more in the 60s, and to date eight women 
have now received the award. 

The rules of the award drawn up by the 
first committee have remained substan- 
tially the same. Rule 6 read: Any person 
is eligible for the Award who it can be 
shown has increased popular or scientific 
knowledge of Australian Flora and Fauna, 
including Man, or has assisted notably in 
the protection or propagation of Flora and 
Fauna, or has discovered new species of 
importance, or has devoted much time to 
the study of the subject, or has done 
definite service by the publication of 
articles or books or by photography or by 
pictorial art, or by any other means. Later 
revisions included a time limit of a ten year | 
period preceding the last nomination, and 
the currency of a nomination was extended 
to three years, which the General Com- 
mittee in 1946 recommended as giving 
candidates a fairer chance. They also 
recommended that the Award Committee 
be appointed on a more permanent basis 
than annual election by the General Com- 
mittee from its own members. Today the 
Award Committee consists of six mem- 
bers, representing different disciplines, 
appointed for four years, half of whom 
retire every two years, and the current 
President of the Royal Society. The main 
function of the General Committee, made 
up of representatives from participating 
Societies, is to appoint members of the 

Victorian Nat. 


Award Committee, and to deal with any 
procedural matters which arise. The sec- 
retary of this committee is appointed by 
the FNCV, who finance and present the 
award each year. 

The first medallion, designed by Robin 
Croll, depicted an aborigine sitting on a 
cliff gazing out over the land, under the 
Southern Cross. This design was used until 
1980, but after forty years’ use the die was 
wearing out, and Council was faced with 
the choice of replacing it, or having a new 
design. The decision was made in favour 
of the latter. The search for a new design 
resulted in Council’s choosing one from 
Matcham Skipper, in which a number of 
elements of botany and zoology are in- 
corporated. The medallion is mounted on 
a piece of agate, thereby giving variation 
from year to year. 

The achievements for which the Medal- 
lion is awarded have remained similar over 
the years, but changes of emphasis are 
discernible, reflecting both the progress of 
knowledge, and different perceptions of 
the role of the naturalist. The distinctions 
are blurred, because new species are still 
being discovered today, while some of the 

early Medallionists were more concerned 
with spreading general knowledge of 
natural history than with taxonomic de- 
scription. The need for conservation, 
underpinned by scientific knowledge, 
which J.K. Moir recognised from the 
beginning, has become more relevant with 
the passing years, and is reflected in the 
activities and achievements of the Medal- 
lionists in the last two decades. As the 
Medallion goes into its second half-cen- 
tury, the Award Committee continue to 
look for people who, in their opinion, have 
done most to fulfill the two requirements 
of an award for, in the words of the 
Original inscription on the medallion, 
‘special study and increasing knowledge 
and appreciation of Australian flora and 

Sheila Houghton 

For anyone interested in more informa- 
tion on the Medallion a booklet entitled 
‘The History of the Australian Natural 
History Medallion’ by Sheila Houghton is 
available, gratis. Contact the Secretary, c/- 
The National Herbarium (see back cover). 

With Thanks 

The FNCV wishes to thank the 
members of the Native Plants 
Preservation Society for their 
donation of $2,000 towards the 
maintenance of the Kinglake and 
Maryborough sanctuaries. These 
Sanctuaries are vital to the 
conservation of flora and fauna and 
the generous support from the 
N.P.P.S. is warmly appreciated. 


Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 

Wildflowers of the 
Stirling Range 
Bruce Fuhrer 
Neville Marchant 

Special offer to members 
$7.00 plus $1.75 pack./post. 

Order from: 

Sheila Houghton, 

C/- National Herbarium, 
Birdwood Avenue, 

South Yarra 3141. 



Ellen Margery McCulloch 
Australian Natural History Medallist: 1990 

The choice of Ellen M. McCulloch for this award is an acknowledgement of her 
dedicated and unstinting efforts in the fields of conservation and the environment, 
relating particularly to birds. io 

As an enthusiastic and tireless worker over many years in bringing the causes of birds 
to non-committed people, she has never compromised or deviated from this direction. 

Ellen’s interest in birds began in childhood as she walked to and from school in Kallista, 
Victoria. As an adult this interest was re-awakened when she attended Jack Hyett’s 
general natural history lectures, run by the Council of Adult Education. Since the early 
1970’s she herself has been a CAE lecturer and now also leads tours. 

In addition to countless articles published in ornithological magazines all over 
Australia she has contributed to a wide variety of journals and newspapers such as 
Your Garden, The Age (Melbourne), Nunawading Gazette, Photography, Australian 
Golf, Farm Magazine, Trees and Natural Resources, etc., etc. 

She is co-author of two books: “Some Garden Birds of South-east Australia?’ (1970) 
(Collins: Sydney), and “Birds of Australian Gardens?’ (1980) (Rigby: Adelaide), 
(Reprinted 1986, 1990). Her book, “Your Garden Birds?’ (1987) (Hyland House: 
Melbourne), brings together thirty of the articles published in Your Garden. 

Her contribution through leaflets, radio talks, workshops and seminars and as a 
representative on various professional organisations, has placed birds and their needs 
before a very wide section of the public. 

She has lectured to schools, natural history societies, church groups and garden clubs. 

She has organised various surveys including one on “Birds and Gardens”, an endorsed 
Bicentennial activity, in which people from all over Australia participated. Most 
importantly, she always publishes the results. 

She is a voluntary worker at the Museum of Victoria, and has been involved in the 
planning and production of videos, notably one on teaching volunteers how to handle 
oiled birds. 

As Promotions Officer for the Bird Observers Club of Australia she is instrumental 
in setting up displays at shopping centres, flower shows, nurseries and libraries. She 
was awarded a Life Membership in 1985, 

Her long-standing and ceaseless efforts for the betterment of our environment have 
certainly merited this recognition. 

Tess Kloot 

: . . 
si Victorian Nat. 


Ellen McCulloch 
(Photo: Gael Trusler) 

Don’t forget to resubscribe. 
Subscriptions for 1991 are 
due on January ist. 

Vol. 107 No. 5/6 (1990) 185 



This is an opportunity to learn about the alpine environment and associated 
conservation issues with people from a range of backgrounds and disciplines. 

January 2-7: Introductory course for teachers, rangers, conservationists and those 
interested in the alpine environment. Study alpine flora, fauna, soils and their , 
interactions in the field. At least one day scheduled for individual projects. Limited 

to 48 participants. 

January 8-13: Advanced field studies and projects for botanists, ecologists, soil 
scientists and photographers - including nature photography with Colin Totterdell. 
Three days scheduled for specific projects. Limited to 36 participants. 

The instructors have considerable experience working in the Bogong High Plains and 
conducting field-based courses. 

Accommodation is at Howmans Gap Alpine Center. 

Course Fees: $350 including accommodation, meals, instruction and course notes. A 
limited number of subsidised places are available for those on low incomes. 

Enquiries and application forms: 

Bruce West, Howmans Gap (057) 583 228 

Warwick Papst (03) 479 1230 (BH) 
(03) 809 2454 (AH) 

Presented by the Department of Conservation and Environment 

Farewell to Miss Laura White 

Miss White attended the Botany Group Meeting on Thursday night and on 
Friday told Dr Elizabeth Turner how much she enjoyed the subject and the 

speaker Hilary Weatherhead. On Saturday morning the 13th October she passed 
away peacefully. 
Age 95 years. 
An obituary will be printed in a later issue of The Victorian Naturalist. 

186 . ' 
Victorian Nat. 

FNCV Diary (cont.) 

Fauna Survey Group 
General Meetings (First Tuesday) 

Tuesday,, 5th February Tuesday, 5th March 
Saturday, 15th December 26th Dec. - 2nd Jan. 
Night, Leadbeaters Possum Watch. Xmas Camp. Nooramunga Marine 

Coastal Park. Sunday Island. 

New Members 

Metropolitan: Joint Metropolitan 
- Jenny Anson, Narre Warren North - Beth and Eric Ibbitson, Black Rock 
- Michael Russell, Chelsea — Philipa Burgess and Alec Donaldson, 
- Helen Geyer, Langwarrin East Kew 

| - Tony Barton, Bundoora — Nigel and William Delaney, 

| - John Spencer, Brighton Sandringham 
- Karen Wilson, Parkville - Patrick Driver and Marita Sydes, 
— Louise Brown, Glen Waverley Rosanna 
— N. Robert Doreian, Rosanna — Patricia Brennan and Joseph Leahy, 
- Felicity Garde, Mt Waverley Oak Park 

Joint Country 
- Bronwen and Gordon Myall, 
Coffs Harbour 

FNCV Membership and Subscriptions 1991 

Membership fees and journal subscriptions for 1991 are due on January Ist 1991 

Membership rates 1991 

LSTRST SOUTER DY tag A RS olen twa coed a en Praeger $30 
Raita hy OhLOTO ILE Maen en Me PEN tee RE Enact Gs cts tap ids TO abvtem famines $35 
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MEGUMI CT abare MO I TCLOLIONSNGLUFQNIST) Mer setis fees Amie ey i netgen tiga e oF $5 

Subscription rates 1991 
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URVSRGE Oo Ao 2 cy tl Reh ete o 4k ree ee ee AUD $50 

Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 

In which is incorporated the Microscopical Society of Victoria 
Established 1880 
Registered Office: FNCV, ¢/- National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra, 3141. 

OBJECTS: To stimulate interest in natural history and to preserve 
and protect Australian fauna and flora. 
Members include beginners as well as experienced naturalists. 

Patron ; . Fg j 

His Excellency, The Rev Dr John Davis McCaughey, The Governor of Victoria. 

Key Office-Bearers 1989-1990 

President: Dr. ARTHUR FARNWORTH, 47 The Boulevarde,Doncaster 3108 (848 2229) 
Hon. Secretary; Mr, JULIAN GRUSOVIN, | Warriner Court, East Oakleigh, 3166. (543 8627 A.H.) 
Hon, Treasurer: Mr, BRUCE ABBOTT, 4/597 Orrong Road, Armadale, 3143. (529 4301 A.H.) 
Subscription-Secretary; Ms DIANNE CHAMBERS, FNCY, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood 

Avenue, South Yarra, 3141, 

Editors: ROBY N WATSON and TIM OFFOR, FNCYV, P.O. Box 4306, The University of Melbourne, 
Parkville, 3052, (419 3532), 

Librarian: Mrs. SHELLA HOUGHTON, F'NCYV, c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, South 
Yarra, 3141 

Excursion Secretary; DOROTHY MAHLER (850 9379 A.H.,). 

Conservation Co-ordinator: Mr. WIL ASHBURNER, c/- National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, 
South Yarra, 3141. 

Sales Officer (Victorian Naturalist only); Mr. D. B. McINNES, 129 Waverley Road, East Malvern, 
3145 (541 2427) 

Publicity Officer: Miss MARGARET POTTER, 1/249 Highfield Road, Burwood, 3125. (889.2779), 

Book Sales Officer: Mr. ALAN PARKIN, FNCV c/ National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, South 
Yarra, 3141 (850 2617 A.H.) 

Group Secretaries 
Botany; Miss MARGARET POTTER, 1/249 Highfield Road, Burwood, 3125 (889 2779), 

Geology: Miss HELEN BARTOSZEWICZ, 16 Euroa Avenue, Nth. Sunshine, 3020 (311 5106 A.H.) 
Fauna Survey: Mr, ALEX KUTT (347 0012 A.H.) 
Microscopical: Mrs, ELSIE GRAHAM, 147 Broadway, Reservoir, 3073 (469 2509) 

Membership of the F.N.CN, is open to any person interested in natural history, The Victorian 
Naturalist is distributed free to all members, the club's reference and lending library is available 
and other activities are indicated in reports set out in the several preceding pages of this magazine. 

Membership rates 1991 

BARRIODONRN Swarts erettas eeu sane ee ee nt oyu 
Joint Metropolitan ah : y Nighy Ais ete Ce? +e Le sa5 
Country/Interstate members... ...,,.., .. Hee Me $27 
Joint Country/Interstate ..,, , . Abe sp Ogee AS ESOS (te LW An Ae oa) | ice erie) A ee eee $32 
Concessional rate (Students/pensioners) , $22 
Joint Concessional Mocs Ara UWA Hel 8 eee AA 8g sok GASVCBR 8 cit ee ie $27 
Junior (under 18; no Victorian INGER EE ot tcime the an ee een ee so) Eee aie $5 
Club subscription ; id egie at Ae $30 
Within Australia . Ne ag STs 
Overseas de Aah y ge a ne Ui 
ths ort i crore sys 5 AUD.$50 

_ — _ Key te . - ? 

st Er ey: 



Balance of Account at 31 December 1988 14,909 13,888 
Book sales account profit 758 1,021 
Balance of Account at 31 December 1989 15,667 14,909 

Balance of Fund at 31 December 1988 28,919 25,442 
Interest on investments and bank account 3,881 3,389 
Surplus on tours 2,646 88 
Sundry 530 a 
Less: Transfer to Kinglake Project (2,345) —_ 

Transfer to Library Fund (150) _ 
Balance of Fund at 31 December 1989 33,481 28,919 


1989 1988 
$ $ 
Current Assets 
Cash at Bank 8,245 eA) 
Cash at Bank ~ Bicentennial Grant 19,043 10,197 
Australian Savings Bonds at Cost 10,000 
Accounts Receivable — 213 
Stocks on Hand at Cost 
Badges & Sundries 85 85 
Books for Sale 297 331 
Victorian Naturalist Subject Index 765 790 

28,435 35,395 

Fixed Assets at Cost 
Library Furniture & Equipment 9,328 9,328 
Land — Cosstick Reserve, Maryborough 213 213 

9,541 9,541 

Investment of Funds at Cost 

Australian Savings Bonds 8,300 
Esanda Ltd. Debentures 8,600 8,000 
ANZ Term Deposit 20,352 — 
ANZ Savings Bank ~ Deposit 6,055 5,472 
Bank of Melbourne ~ Deposit 4,321 2,443 

39,328 24,215 

Building Fund 

Australian Savings Bonds at cost 900 3,100 
Esanda Ltd. Debentures at cost 4,700 5,900 
Bank of Melbourne — Deposit Py alyph Quine 
ANZ Term Deposit 36,446 — 
Cash at Bank 4,723 3,591 

48,941 15,364 

72 Victorian Nat. 


Publications Fund 

Australian Savings Bonds at cost 9,100 45,380 
Esanda Ltd. - Debentures at cost 2,500 5,000 
Bank of Melbourne - Deposit 5,158 6,916 
Telecom — Bonds at cost — 1,500 
ANZ Savings Bank - Deposit 11,956 10,804 
ANZ Term Deposit 46,067 _ 
Book Stocks at cost 5,841 6,084 
Cash at Bank 17,549 12,248 

98,171 87,932 

Excursion Fund 

Australian Savings Bonds at cost _— 1,000 
ANZ Savings Bank 11,981 10,826 
ANZ Term Deposit 1221 
Cash at Bank 26,949 29,052 
Sundry Creditors (6,670) (11,959) 

33,481 28,919 
257,897 201,366 


We report that we have audited the accounts of the FELD NATURALIST CLUB 
OF VICTORIA in accordance with Australian Auditing Standards. 

In our opinion the accompanying accounts, being the Balance Sheet, Statement of 
Income and Expenditure, Notes to Accounts, Statement of Source and Application 
of Funds and Statement by Members of the Council, are properly drawn up in 
accordance with the provisions of the Companies (Victoria) Code 1981 and so as to 
give a true and fair view of:- 

(i) the state of affairs of the company at 31 December, 1989 and of the results of 
the club for the year ended on that date; and 

(ii) that other matters required by Section 269 of that Code to be dealt with in the 

and are in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards and applicable approved 
accounting standards. 

Certified Practising Accountants March 1990 

Vol. 107 No. 2 (1990) 73 

Naturalist Notes 

Sitting in the car at windy McLoughlins 
Beach I knew little of the past activities 
of the group I was to spend the week with, 
All [knew was that they were out to catch 
New Holland Mouse. 

My association with the Fauna Survey 
Group began in early December 1989 
when a friend of mine, a second year 
ecology student at La Trobe University, 
invited me to a meeting to be held that 
night at the Astronomer’s Residence in the 
botanical Gardens, South Yarra. 

Malcolm Turner, a prominent member 
of the group and a biologist with the 
DC&E, had told her that membership 
with the Fauna Survey team could help her 
career. I attended to give her moral 

The air was hot and rich with pollen in 
the Botanical Gardens that night. As we 
trekked through the open parklands yuppy 
cyclists whizzed by in flurries of fluor- 
escent limbs and whirling wheels. 

It was only with difficulty that we 
eventually found the stately Victorian 
residence of the Astronomer — we had been 
searching for a white dome-shaped shed 
with a telescope sticking out of it. 

When the Fauna Survey Group were all 
seated to begin the meeting I surveyed 
them. I suppose I was expecting to see the 
stereotype field nats of old; on the one 
hand the Crosby-Morrison, bushman-type 
naturalists, on the other the English 
country gentleman-type naturalists who 
long ago exchanged their shotguns for 
binoculars and picnic baskets. 

The people before me, however, looked 
more like the congregation of a Catholic 
church. A distinguished old lady occupied 
the front seat. However to my ignorant eyes 
she seemed as though she would be more 
at home judging poodles at the Royal Dog 
Show than scratching in the bush for the 
scats of marsupial rodents, 

Behind her was an elderly gentleman 
whose name | later learnt was Tom Sault, 
a long standing member of the group. 
More than any other present Tom em- 
bodied the bushman-naturalist image. 


However he later told me that he rarely 
sacrificed life’s common comforts while on 
camp. He was known for pulling a little 
campervan on every trip and cooking such 
wonderful meals in it that it became 
known as ““Tom’s Restaurant”. 

There was a core of young people in the 
room who all looked as though they had 
done some time at university. They had 
that intangible feeling of leisure about 
them that three or four years of campus 
life installs in people. 

The tall, blonde tradesman Russell 
Thompson was also present. Returning 
from the bush on one occasion I showed 
Russell a slender bone I thought came 
from a horse. Without lifting his eyes from 
the curling steam of the cup of tea he was 
drinking, Russell amiably said, “That’s a 
swan’s thigh bone”. 

My friend’s contact, Malcolm Turner, 
was to provide the main attraction of the 
meeting — a talk and slides about his recent 
adventures which included a trip to Queens- 
land. Malcolm gave a sly grin as he began + 
his talk, as if to say, “Look how much fun 
I’ve been having”. Physically he looked as 
though he was still in Queensland. While 
the rest of us had perhaps shed one or two 
winter jumpers Malcolm arrived wearing 
shorts and T-shirt. 

As Malcolm showed us his slides the 
room took on a warm and homely feeling. 
I felt at ease with the group as we peered 
eagerly at the curios of nature that Mal- 
colm had captured in his slides; things like 
turtle’s eggs and the great boomerang tails 
of Southern Right Whales which he had 
photographed in the cold sea near Warr- 

Looking around at the naturalists pre- 
sent, their faces illuminated by the slides 
of northern Queensland, | reflected that 
each face was a slide itself, showing a keen 
interest in nature - and occasional disgust 
at Malcolm’s habit of making weak puns. 

Malcolm flicked the slide machine and 
a monster-faced Moray Eel swivelled into 
view. The eel’s head was sticking out of its 
coral lair and was cupped in the hand 

Victorian Nat. 

Naturalist Notes 

of a scuba-diver - Malcolm. As Mal ex- 
plained ‘his relationship with the eel, the 
scene took on the dreamy quality of a 
distant friendship hatched in some far-off 
polyp grove. 

For me Malcolm exuded the love for 
nature that all keen naturalists share. 
When such people discuss the natural 
world it is as though they are talking of 
an old friend. 

I first encountered this relationship 
between the naturalist and the subject of 
his work as a young boy watching Harry 
Butler on TV. You could say that I was 
brought up “In the Wild with Harry 
Butler” because the show gave me many 
of my first insights into the bush. 

Harry’s program left me with two strong 
needs; a desire to understand the natural 
world and an urge to preserve it. As the 
meeting concluded | felt that this group 
could become the outlet for these needs 
that I had been waiting for. 

Despite this it was still with some re- 
luctance that | put my name down for the 
forthcoming trip to St Margaret’s Island. 
Long camps with family and friends had 
taught me to be suspicious of spending 
time at such close quarters with people I 
had newly met. However the possibility of 
finding the New Holland Mouse lured me 
and I ended up signing to go. 

Nothing went well on the first day of the 
St Margaret Island camp. We carted our 
luggage the one hundred metres or so to 
the end of the McLoughlin’s Beach pier 
under guerilla attack from squall-force 
gusts of wind. 

It was then a matter of waiting for the 
DC&E launch that had been arranged to 
drop us at the island. However the launch 
only stayed long enough for its captain to 
tell us that one of its motors was out and 
that they were not going to risk a trip to 
the island in those conditions. 

We reloaded our cars and drove to the 
McLoughlin’s Beach jetty. This long foot- 
bridge crosses a muddy backwater separat- 
ing part of the Ninety Mile Beach known 
as Reeves Beach from the mainland. 

Vol. 107 No. 3 (1990) 

We camped the next few nights in a dell 
behind Reeves Beach, an area, according 
to Malcolm, where New Holland Mouse 
had been found. When the winds even- 
tually died away we emerged from the 
heath, spread our gear across the middle 
of the jetty and again waited for the fateful 
DC&E launch. Standing and sprawling 
forlornly about the breezy jetty we must 
have appeared to the locals like a group 
of refugees. 

However I was learning too much to 
worry about the occasional hardship. I had 
always enjoyed camping and considered 
myself a lover of the bush but a week with 
the Fauna Survey Group soon showed me 
how little | knew of my beloved. 

The group had immense collective 
knowledge. There were science graduates 
like Eva Demetriadus, Sarah Brown, Karen 
Lester and Malcolm Turner on the trip. 
Jenny Chappill had a Ph.D in Eucalypt 
Taxonomy. Russell Thompson was, of 
course, great with bones and Wendy 
Clarke was partial to spiders. Whatever the 
field there were people in the team who 
knew something about it. 

As one of several novices in the group 
I was made to feel welcome. When an 
animal was caught the experienced people 
were happy to explain the creature to us 
and answer our questions. 

Without complaint everyone who felt 
the need set about the often difficult tasks 
before them. There were pitfall lines to be 
filled in and new ones to be dug. There 
were traps to be set, 10 to a person, and 
bat mist nets to be checked at regular 
intervals before bed. And of course there 
were morning and night swims to be had 
on the island’s pristine beaches (that is, 
when we did get to the island). 

At night Malcolm took us spotlighting 
into a grove thick with spiny Grass-trees 
and saw-leafed Banksia. We were looking 
for pigmy possums. However our quest 
for these animals ran like an episode of 
“Scooby Doo”, the children’s cartoon of 
the seventies. Whenever Malcolm stopped 
those in the darker back ranks would keep 


The Victorian 

Index to 
Volume 107, 1990 

Compiled by K.N. Bell 

Australian Natural History Medal 
Medalist, 184 
Report, 182 

Bartley, M. J., 80 
Bird, E. C., 86 
Bird, P. R., 107 
Blackburn, J. A. D., 128, 173 
Clarke, I., 28 
Corrick, M. G., 99 
Coulson, G., 112 (review) 
Dixon, J. M., 159 
Endersby, I. D., 126 
Entwisle, T. J., 163 
Fulton, W. N., 124 
Gillbank, L., 165 
Gillespie, G., 144 
Houghton, S., 35, 182 
Kershaw, R. C., 134 (review) 
Kloot, T., 184 
Koehn, J. D. and Morison, A. K., 13 
Kuyk, K. van, 130 
Leahy, J., 109 
Lintermans, M. and Rutzou, T., 26 
Lunt, I. D., 45 
McInnes, D. E., 58 
McIntyre, S., 154 
Morison, A. K. and Koehn, J. D., 13 
O’Conner, W. D. and Koehn, J. D., 5 
Offer, T., 120 
Phillips, H., 174 
Poiani, A., 105 
Rutzou, T. and Lintermans, M., 26 

Schleiger, N., 132, 177 (meeting reports) 

Strother, S., 97 

Thiele, K., 179 (review) 
Willis, J. H., 135 (review) 
Wilson, C. G., 52 

Bell Miner, communal roosting, 105 
Budgerigars at Hamilton, 107 
Manoria melanophrys, communal 
roosting, 105 


Book reviews 

Bernhardt, Wily Violets and 
Underground Orchids (K. Thiele), 

Dunn et al., Mornington Peninsula - a 
field guide to flora, fauna and 
walking tracks (J. H. Willis), 135 

Richmond, Tasmanian Sea-shells 
common to other Australian States 
(R. C. Kershaw), 134 


Autumn fire effect on Themeda 
triandra, 43 

Bush-peas of Victoria, Key to 
Pultenaea in Victoria, 99 

Germination of eight native species, 

Lepilaena spp. at Swan Bay, 97 

Plant drought messenger, 163 

Olearia pannosa, fruit, germinability, 
morphology, 80 

Sandy heaths, Wilson’s Promontory, 

Species list, Merri Creek, 28 

Themeda triandra, autumn fire effects, 

Velvet Daisy Bush, notes on, 80 


Lindenmayer, D. B., Smith, A. P., 
Craig, S. A. and Lumsden, L. F,, 
(Victorian Naturalist 106), 136 

Excursion report 

Mt. Buffalo, 175 


Annual Report, 66 
Financial Report, 66 
Group reports, Botany, 181 
Library, 114 

Meeting Report, 132, 177 
President’s Picnic, 35 

Gadopsis bispinosus, new locality, 26 
Native freshwater fish, conservation 
status, 13 
Threats to Victorian native freshwater 
fishes, 5 
Two-spined Blackfish, new locality, 26 

Giant burrowing frog in Victoria, 144 
Heleioporus australiacus, in Victoria, 

Cliff instability, 86 

Gastropod radual, 126 
Helicarion niger, search for, 130 
Pond hunters dream, 58 


Altona Bay, Southern Right Whale 
skeleton, 159 

Gurdies, Western Port, mammals of, 52 

Hamilton, Budgerigars at, 107 

Merri Creek, Flora list, 28 

Mt. Buffalo, 175 

Mt. William, ascent of, 128 

Norramunga, 109 

Swan Bay, Lepilaena spp., 97 

Wilson’s Promontory, sandy heaths, 


Australian sea-lion, Eastern Australian 
coast, 124 

Echidna, intertidal activity, 174 

Mammals of The Gurdies, Western 

Southern Right Whale skeleton, Aitona 
Bay, 159 

Field Naturalists in Victoria’s Alps, 165 
New Museum, 132 
Where?, 173 

Tape reviews 
Littlejohn and Smith, Calls of Victorian 
Frogs (G. Coulson), 112